Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: GPs in the UK are encouraged to 'prescribe' parkruns to patients

Monday, June 25, 2018

GPs in the UK are encouraged to 'prescribe' parkruns to patients

In 2017, parkrun UK had a report that said that hundreds of healthcare practicioners were recommending the wide-ranging benefits of active lifestyles to health and well-being to their patients. A new initiative launched in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners now aims to build on this by increasing awareness among more GPs and all practice staff of local parkruns.

It is hoped that the initiative could see thousands of patients being “prescribed” outdoor physical activity by their GP rather than medication. GP practices will be encouraged to develop closer links with their local parkrun to become certified “parkrun practices”, with healthcare practitioners signposting patients and carers to the events, particularly those who are the least active and have long-term health conditions.

Dr Simon Tobin, a GP from Southport, Merseyside, described the concept as a ...“win-win situation for my patients and the NHS. Almost every day I invite my patients to come to parkrun and I’ve had successes with people with anxiety, depression, diabetes and heart disease as well as those who want to improve their blood pressure or get fitter. My patients are healthier, happier and on fewer medications, and the NHS saves a fortune on unnecessary drugs and dealing with their side-effects.”

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said ... “Small, often simple, lifestyle changes can have a really positive impact on our health and well-being, so anything that encourages patients to live better and move more is a good thing. Parkrun is a diverse, fun and free way of getting our patients up and moving about, and empowering them to make basic lifestyle changes in the best interests of their long-term health and well-being.”

More info on the UK  parkrun blog...

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