[K-UNIV Report] Plogging : A new environmental fitness trend

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The term eco-friendly is used so often these days. It means not harmful to the environment, reducing the environmental impact. As the climate crisis is getting worse and its effects are outrageous, people set great store by protecting the earth and thinking about the environment. This concept is no longer an option, but it has become a necessity in our lives. It goes the same for the MZ generation. Since they are more likely to reflect their political or social beliefs in their actions, an eco-friendly lifestyle is enough to be considered as a new trend. One example is plogging.

You may have seen some posts of people wearing suitable gloves holding rubbish bags on social media. The word plogging is a combination of the English phrase “jogging” and “plocka upp” which is Swedish for picking up. As it implies, it entails stopping to pick up trash while walking or running. It is a fitness trend that originated in Stockholm, Swedish in 2016 and has become increasingly popular around North Europe. In Korea, it first came around 2018 in sports day held around the Han River and has become one of the biggest workout trends. Ploggers are the people who participate in plogging. It takes advantage of improving their health and saving the planet simultaneously. There are also other variations of this activity including walking, biking, hiking, swimming, or whatever exercise you do. The main purpose behind this activity is to make the path you take litter-free, ultimately reducing the impact of waste on the environment.

As Korea had lifted most of its covid-19 restrictions, for example, a time limit at the gym or the speed limit on the treadmill, it has become difficult for many to do indoor exercise in the gym or fitness facilities. Among outdoor activities, running draws attention to people. One of the main reasons they choose it is that it is relatively not expensive and easy for beginners to start. In the case of plogging, it helps to improve muscle conditioning, even burning lots of calories compared to regular running. Some studies have shown that the motion of sitting and standing up to pick up litter consumes about 50 kilocalories of energy by moving their muscles which is more than running. Plogging is the perfect sport for the people like the MZ generation who set their heart on their health and the environment.

People feel satisfied seeing the streets and parks clean right away after plogging. They can share their experience, posting their plogging with a hashtag on social media. It can spur others to join in this play and do green activities, even leading to a relay challenge. It actually matches with the new lifestyle of the MZ generation, which is that people get a sense of accomplishment by setting small goals and putting themselves into practice consistently. It can also be a social exercise such as running crews that focus on plogging and jogging. By running together, you can share the same goal with various people, encouraging each other. Recently, many local governments and companies are also conducting plogging campaigns. Their desire to make a good impact on the world motivates the voluntary participation of others around them. Plogging is more of a spontaneous culture play.

You can run alone or in a group, in the early morning or after work. You can even choose near the park, ocean, mountain or whatever place you want. How about joining in plogging and being a plogger with them?

Nahyun Lee

K-UNIV Reporter