Lately there has been a lot of debate on whether runners should be using headphones when running outdoors, especially near traffic.
There have been multiple studies that have shown an increase in the number of incidents with pedestrians wearing headphones, which has only fueled the fire for some members of the running community. In the past there has been such heated discussion that multiple running events have actually banned headphones during the event. So, the question becomes is it okay to run with headphones outdoors?
Well, we think it is more than okay.
Multiple studies confirm that listening to music while working out increases focus and reduces stress levels. The root problem isn’t the headphones it’s the runner. The runner needs to be aware of their surroundings and if music prevents them from doing that then they shouldn’t run with headphones.
However, we’ve found that many times there is one feature that is preventing awareness: noise cancelling. Whenever you are choosing headphones for running make sure that you do not choose a pair of noise cancelling headphones. Manufacturers like Polk Audio have recognized this and are creating noise isolating headphones which still allow for environmental awareness.
No matter if you’re wearing headphones outdoors or not you should always be aware of your surroundings in order to ensure your safety.