Couch to 5K App Hits All-Time Download High

The running app ‘Couch to 5K’ has surpassed the threshold of 5 million downloads, with 2.36 million downloads recorded since the start of the pandemic, an increase of 92% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Provided by Public Health England and the BBC, the free app is designed to coach those who have done little or no running over the course of nine weeks, with the aim of reaching an unbroken five-kilometre run at the end of the training period.  

The mobile app was created back in 2016, and since then, has hosted a number of celebrity coaches from Radio DJ Jo Whiley, 13 time Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Michael Johnson and Comedian Sarah Millican. In conjunction with this year’s Olympic Games, Denise Lewis OBE will also be featuring as a guest coach.

Regular running has been shown to reduce the risk of long-term illnesses such as type 2 Diabetes, stroke and heart disease as well as helping to maintain a healthier weight and improve your mood.

With more than 40% of adults in England having gained weight during the pandemic, with some surveys suggesting an average of half a stone (3.16kg), Public Health England have welcomed the news of the App’s success.

Director of Health Improvement, Professor John Newton said, “We’re thrilled that so many people have been using the Couch to 5k app to get more active over lockdown. Keeping active is not only good for our physical health but also crucial for our mental health, and we hope the app has helped people to cope better with the challenges the pandemic has brought.”


Are you looking for active health and fitness inspiration? Explore our Active Health and Fitness Knowledge Hub for more ideas to start your fitness journey.


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Carrie Plummer - Editor & Content Manager

Active Health and Fitness News

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