Central Park, New York has been voted as the best place in the world to go running, according to a study by British Airways. The airline polled 2,000 people, to find the best and worst places abroad for sporting pursuits. The results have been unveiled for Sport Relief, the airline’s charity partner.

The Manhattan landmark is already a favourite jogging spot for celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Madonna, and Jake Gyllenhaal. It beat Sydney Harbour, Australia and London’s Richmond Park for first place. Conversely, Death Valley, USA was named the worst place to run, due to its gruelling terrain and stifling heat.

Douglas Blonsky, President & CEO of Central Park Conservancy, said: “Central Park plays an important role in the health and happiness of so many people, welcoming more than 40 million visitors every year. Ten per cent of those visitors are runners! Central Park Conservancy is proud to be responsible for the Park’s restoration and maintenance, and thankful to the many supporters who make our work possible.”

With its turquoise waters the Maldives was voted the best place on the planet to swim, followed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Singapore’s dramatic Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool, towering 650ft. above street level.

In cycling, England’s Yorkshire Dales triumphed over California’s sun-kissed Venice Beach and the country lanes of the Isle of Wight, as the best destination for two-wheel sport.

Claire Bentley, British Airways Holidays’ managing director, said: “There’s a number of customers that travel with us for sporting breaks – from competing in marathons to golf breaks and skiing holidays. Overall, New York is one of our most popular destinations, with Central Park attracting visitors from all over the world.”

The least popular destinations to take part in sport were those with intense climates – from the chill of Antarctica and Alaska, to the intoxicating heat of Death Valley and Al’Azziyah in Libya – one of the hottest habitable places in the world.

With 3,274 miles of deadly waters, the Amazon in South America topped the worst place to go swimming, with a quarter of all votes. Additionally, the extreme conditions of Tibet’s altitude – 16,000ft above sea level, and Delhi – one of the busiest intersections in the world, were voted the worst places to run and cycle.

Sport Relief is encouraging the public to make every mile count by running, swimming or cycling to raise cash, including landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where British Airways hosted ‘Park Live’ during the London 2012 Games. BA is supporting Sport Relief through internal and external fundraising activity, and hopes to add to the £6.5 million it has already raised for Comic Relief through its ‘Flying Start’ partnership.