Research Shows The Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Parkruns

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HUNDREDS of people take part in the Tralee one every week and now new research has revealed participating in parkruns has significant physical and mental health benefits.

Parkrun in partnership with Vhi has unveiled major study into the health and wellbeing benefits of participating in free, weekly, timed, 5k events.

More than 90% of parkrunners report a sense of personal achievement and improvements in physical health.

Those who also volunteer, as well as walk or run, reported the greatest improvements to their happiness with 88% feeling happier due to parkrun.

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90% of those that reported experiencing depression said that participating in parkrun improved their ability to manage their health condition

This is according to the detailed study among more than 4,000 respondents who take part in the 93 weekly 5k adult parkrun events in Ireland.

Undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), the research was commissioned to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of participating in the free, weekly, timed 5k events. The research marks parkrun’s seventh anniversary in Ireland, and Vhi’s fourth year as presenting partner of parkrun Ireland.

The study found that after participating at parkruns;

• 92% of those surveyed reported a sense of personal achievement
• 91% reported improvements to their fitness
• 90% reported improvements to their physical health
• 83% reported improvements to their mental health
• 85% reported improvements to their happiness
• More than 33% of those surveyed reported to experience anxiety or depression however the majority of those said that parkrun had improved their ability to manage their condition

Commenting on the research Matt Shields, parkrun Ireland Country Manager said; “The findings of this research validate our assumptions about the wide-ranging physical, emotional and social health benefits of participating in parkrun.

Volunteering is an incredibly positive activity in its own right, with the greatest health and wellbeing gains being seen by the thousands of people who volunteer at parkrun. parkrun has grown from strength to strength in Ireland.

This month we are celebrating our seventh anniversary and more than 170,000 walkers and runners have participated in parkrun events nationwide, supported by a coalition of partners including Vhi and the Healthy Ireland who are dedicated to supporting the parkrun movement.”

Parkruns take place in the town park Tralee, Listowel, Killarney House and Inch Beach. To register for the Tralee parkrun click here.

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