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Not just a run in the park: a qualitative exploration of parkrun and mental health

Morris, Paul and SCOTT, Helen (2018) Not just a run in the park: a qualitative exploration of parkrun and mental health. Advances in mental health. ISSN 1837-4905

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Abstract or description

parkrun is a volunteer facilitated mass participation running event,
taking place in open spaces around the world. Research has
identified benefits to mental health of exercise, community
activity, volunteering, and outdoor activity, all of which are
incorporated into parkrun. This study explores the experiences
at parkrun of individuals who identified as having had current
or past mental health difficulties.
Twenty participants, who identified themselves as having
experienced mental health difficulties participated in one to one
semi-structured interviews. Seven were male, and 13 were
female, with a mean age of 45.2. Transcripts were analysed
using thematic analysis.
Three themes were identified: ‘sense of achievement’ referring to
feelings of accomplishment; ‘connecting with others’ referring to a
sense of belonging and community, and ‘it’s for everyone’,
referring to an equitable, welcoming and non-threatening
Participants felt that parkrun benefitted their mental health. The
findings suggest that there is potential to support mental health
outside of traditional settings. Other clinical implications and
limitations of the study are discussed and suggestions for
further research are made.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Helen SCOTT
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 11:25
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:49

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