Motivation to improve mental wellbeing via community physical activity initiatives and the associated impacts—a cross-sectional survey of UK parkrun participants

DUNNE, Allison, HAAKE, Steve, QUIRK, Helen and BULLAS, Alice (2021). Motivation to improve mental wellbeing via community physical activity initiatives and the associated impacts—a cross-sectional survey of UK parkrun participants. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (24).

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/24/13072
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/24/13072/pdf (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072
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    Abstract

    Participation in regular physical activity is a well-established strategy to support good mental wellbeing in adults with, and without, mental health conditions. The physical activity initiative parkrun is a free, weekly, timed, running and walking event which is attended by people from the local community of all abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mental wellbeing of UK parkrun participants along with their motives for taking part and the impact of participation. Mental health conditions were self-reported in 2.5% of 60,000 respondents to an online survey of parkrunners, with the most prevalent being depression and anxiety. Those with mental health conditions were more motivated than those without to first participate in parkrun to manage their health conditions and improve their mental health. Those with mental health conditions were equally motivated to improve their physical health when compared to those without, and reported similar levels of improvement. Mental wellbeing scores for those with mental health conditions were close to the normal range, suggesting that engagement in parkrun may have had a role in limiting the effect of their illness. Community initiatives could replicate parkrun’s model, and use the potential for both mental and physical health improvement, as well as health condition management, as a motivation for participation.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: eissn 1660-4601 **History: published 11-12-2021; accepted 09-12-2021
    Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health, mental wellbeing, physical activity, parkrun
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072
    SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 14:33
    Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 14:45
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29452

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