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Article

Motivation to Improve Mental Wellbeing via Community Physical Activity Initiatives and the Associated Impacts—A Cross-Sectional Survey of UK parkrun Participants

1
Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S9 3TU, UK
2
School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas E. Dorner and Igor Grabovac
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072
Received: 29 October 2021 / Revised: 3 December 2021 / Accepted: 9 December 2021 / Published: 11 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Exercise and Chronic Diseases Prevention)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; mental wellbeing; physical activity; parkrun mental health; mental wellbeing; physical activity; parkrun
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dunne, A.; Haake, S.; Quirk, H.; Bullas, A. Motivation to Improve Mental Wellbeing via Community Physical Activity Initiatives and the Associated Impacts—A Cross-Sectional Survey of UK parkrun Participants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 13072. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072

AMA Style

Dunne A, Haake S, Quirk H, Bullas A. 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. 2021; 18(24):13072. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dunne, Allison, Steve Haake, Helen Quirk, and Alice Bullas. 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, no. 24: 13072. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413072

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