The parkrun practice: an investigation of how GP practices use their websites in the promotion of parkrun to patients

Talk Code: 
Rebecca Mensah
Rebecca Mensah
Author institutions: 
University of Warwick


It is well known that physical inactivity increases the risk of numerous diseases/disorders, including several forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, and obesity. There is also an association between lower levels of physical activity and an increased prevalence of mental health difficulties. In June 2018, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) partnered with parkrun UK to form the ‘parkrun practice Initiative’. parkrun is an organised, free, weekly timed 5km event, which it takes place in open spaces in the UK and across the world. The initiative aims to promote the health and wellbeing of both staff and patients. The RCGP parkrun practice Toolkit suggests practices can "Include a parkrun page or a link to the parkrun website on the practice website", but how this is done is left to the discretion of the practice. As such, this study aims to investigate how practices are using their practice website to promote parkrun as part of the initiative, including the format and content of information presented, the variety of promotion methods used and identifying similarities and differences between practices websites.


This was a qualitative examination of parkrun practice websites. A national survey carried out in April/May 2019 of parkrun practices in the UK asked practices to state whether they had used their website to promote parkrun and 114/306 practices reported doing so. The names of these practices were extracted and each website was subsequently searched manually. Screenshots were taken across all websites. A data extraction proforma was used to collect descriptive qualitative data. Data was uploaded into NVivo 11 software to be analysed using a thematic approach.


This study is ongoing and is currently at the analysis stage. Emerging themes of the types of information represented via GP practice websites are ‘information about parkrun/parkrun practices’, ‘parkrun practice events and activities’, ‘addressing patient concerns’, ‘benefits (health and non-health) of parkrun’, ‘patient and staff experiences’, and ‘practical information’. This presentation will describe these themes in more detail and their relevance to the promotion of the parkrun practice.


This study aims to add to current knowledge about how parkrun practices are engaging in the initiative and in particular how they using their websites to promote parkrun to their patients. This in turn may help in the development of recommendations for practices to follow when promoting parkrun on their websites.

Submitted by: 
Joanna Fleming
Funding acknowledgement: 
This study is a medical student project and has been carried out by Rebecca Mensah with Dr Joanna Fleming as supervisor.