The Role of Technology in Promoting Physical Activity: A Case-Study of parkrun

HAAKE, Steve, QUIRK, Helen and BULLAS, Alice (2020). The Role of Technology in Promoting Physical Activity: A Case-Study of parkrun. Proceedings, 49 (1), e80.

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Around a third of people worldwide are physically inactive, causing 3.2 million deaths each year. People often use wearables and smartphone trackers to motivate them to be active, but there is evidence to show that use of these trackers declines quickly, often within weeks. One intervention that appears to successfully motivate people to be active is parkrun, a free, weekly timed 5 km run or walk every Saturday morning. The system used by parkrun is surprisingly low-tech: it uses printable barcodes, stopwatches and scanners, and the internet. A survey of 60,694 parkrun participants showed that levels of self-reported physical activity increased following participation in parkrun, especially for those with previously low levels of activity. Nine out of ten reported feeling a sense of personal achievement and improvements to fitness and physical health since starting parkrun. Based on a taxonomy of behaviour change interventions, the technology used by parkrun was shown to incorporate at least seven techniques that inform and encourage parkrunners. It is concluded that physical activity technologies should not be central to an intervention, rather, they should enhance interventions where behaviour change takes precedence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: **Journal IDs: eissn 2504-3900 **History: published 15-06-2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: technology, behavior change, running, physical inactivity, health impact
Identification Number:
Page Range: e80
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2020 16:48
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:18

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