Love Exercise and The Environment? This Swedish Fitness Trend May Be Just Up Your Alley | Plogging Sweden

Spotify. ABBA. Volvo. IKEA. The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. Sweden is home to just 0.13 per cent of the world’s population. Yet the number of innovations and exports that it’s famous for is mind-blowing. But Sweden’s significant contribution to mankind didn’t end with Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. Read on to learn about Sweden’s latest green fitness craze that’s, literally, sweeping the world.


When it comes to living a balanced and healthy lifestyle, it seems like Sweden has it all. Regarded as the world’s most health-conscious country, Swedes exercise more frequently than almost any other nationality.


Add to that the fact that Sweden is considered the fifth-greenest country in the world, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this Nordic country is the birthplace of ‘Plogging’, our planet’s hottest eco-friendly sports activity.

Did I just see that?!

The next time you’re on a stroll and spot people running around in tracksuits picking up litter, it’s ok, you haven’t gone mad. Mashing up the word “jogging” with the Swedish term “plocka upp” (“picking up”), Plogging is a fitness trend that simply combines the health benefits of exercise with the good feeling of environmental responsibility by picking up trash. Seriously, what can be cooler than that?

More interesting facts about Plogging

Plogging was pioneered in Stockholm, Sweden, by skier and trail runner enthusiast Erik Ahlström in 2016 after he was shocked by the amount of litter he saw in the parks, squares and sidewalks. By 2017, thousands of other Swedes had joined in on the run. Group Ploggings, with dozens of people coming together and jogging in pursuit of local trash, started becoming official sporting events in Sweden.

Gaining steam around the world and across social media

Following growing concerns about plastic pollution, and fueled by social media, this sustainable initiative quickly become a global phenomenon. Not surprisingly, the sporting activity has gained popularity among environmentalists and fitness enthusiasts alike. Today, an estimated 20,000 people from all over the world Plog regularly.

Working out AND saving the planet

On top of the obvious benefits for the environment, plogging’s added bending, squatting and stretching to the main jogging activity makes it healthier than just going for another routine run around the block. Due to the enhanced physical benefits of Plogging,Ahlström says that 30 minutes of this interval training workout style burns almost 290 calories, compared to the 235 calories burned during a typical jog.

In conclusion

There’s a reason Plogging has become so popular, so fast. Its true beauty lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Unlike most workouts that often require classes or expensive equipment, all it takes is a recyclable bag, a pair of rubber gloves and a willingness to make a positive contribution to the environment.

While the worldwide passion for running continues to grow, just think how much litter we could collect if we all did a bit of plogging! And even better? You don’t have to be a jogger to be a Plogger- whether walking, rowing or cycling, Plogging can be “picked up” by anyone with a concern for ecology, especially the litter that’s flooding our cities and natural spaces.

Looking to add a bit of variety into your next session and to benefit the community? Just plog it!

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