What is Plogging?

When you think of Sweden, one will often think about IKEA, ABBA, and meatballs. But, these aren’t the only things we should be thanking Sweden for. Aside from perfecting spherical meat dishes, Sweden has also brought us a new form of environmentally friendly exercise. In an era when our streets and oceans are being inundated with trash, a new contender has joined the ranks to combat the flood of litter: Plogging.

Yes, you read that right. ‘Plogging’ is the newest fitness trend ‘sweeping’ the world (pun intended). Plogging is the act of picking up litter while jogging. This trend started as an organized activity in Sweden during 2016, and it quickly spread around the world by 2018. The name comes from the mashing-up of the word ‘jogging’ and the Swedish term ‘plockka up’ (which means “to pick up”). This trend came about due to the increasing concern of plastic pollution and has quickly reached shores as far as India and Australia.

According to the official Plogging website, the idea behind Plogging is “… To pick up trash and jog is the basic concept. But to be honest it's OK to walk, paddle, skateboard, bicycle and so on. The people of today are becoming more and more sedentary and we need to make a change there as well. So, the combo of securing that no plastic waste enters our seas and daily exercise is a blast!”

As Plogging rises in popularity, it was also added to the Swedish dictionary and has become an official exercise style that can be tracked via fitness-apps, such as Swedish app Lifesum. In fact, Lifesum has recorded, “...a half-hour of jogging plus picking up trash will burn 288 calories for the average person, compared with the 235 burned by jogging alone. A brisk walk will expend about 120.”

Not only is the activity good for your health, but it is also beneficial for your local environment! In many cases Ploggers are picking up KILOS of trash on their daily runs!

Getting involved is easy, if you already have a standard running route, just bring a light-weight bag with you and dip down to pick up litter as you run along. If you are new to running, or just prefer a more social activity, do a quick search on Google for “Plogging near me.” There aren’t any wide-scale Plogging associations yet, but there are many local groups. You could even get your friends together and start your own group.

For those who love their environment and want to look after their health, Plogging is a great option! Not only will you reap the benefits of regular exercise; you will also enjoy having a cleaner community.

Josh Wood BHSc GCSC

Coach Josh Wood, BHSc GCSC is a Personal Trainer and Backpacking Coach who lives in Hobart, Tasmania. Josh works to help people find their passion for activity. He spent most of the last decade studying the body through manual therapies, health science, and strength and conditioning. With a background in teaching Massage Therapists and Personal Trainers he also writes for various online publications which keeps his communication skills sharp. His diverse background brings the many facets of health and fitness together. Head over to coachjoshwood.com to learn more!

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