Forget lagom or hygge, there is a new Scandinavian word to add to your vocabulary: Plogging.
Plogging essentially combines jogging with picking up trash, while turning it all into a social event. The phenomenon was born in Sweden in 2016, when groups started to form around the activity.
“I run a lot and I love to spend time in nature. When I find litter out in the woods or in the archipelago it makes me sad and a bit angry”, said Swedish plogger Maja Tesch to the Washington Post recently.
The word plogging fuses ’plocka’ and ’jogga’, meaning ’picking (up)’ and ’jogging’ in Swedish.
As it turns out, plogging comes with some great health benefits.
According to data from the fitness app Lifesum, one hour of plogging burns 288 calories on average compared to 235 calories on average for plain old jogging, with the added benefit that participants are simultaneously cleaning up their local communities.
The founder of the impromptu movement is said to be the 57-year-old Swede Erik Ahlström. When he recently moved back to Stockholm after having lived in the north of Sweden, Ahlström had the impression that there was a lot more litter on the streets than before.
Now the eco-friendly fitness craze, which could be considered a subset of “friluftsliv”, is gaining a foothold in social media and making headlines across the world.
“It’s time to embrace the Scandinavian trend for picking up litter while jogging”, wrote the Guardian recently.
According to media reports, plogging is starting to catch on in the U.S., Germany, France, Thailand and Canada.