Run for health

A recent survey of almost 3,000 health professionals reveals that a significant number (69 per cent) are prescribing parkrun to their patients, as an alternative to more traditional treatment alternatives.

“Physical activity is an important part of keeping healthy and GPs can often prescribe different levels of it to help improve the health of our patients,” said RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon.

“parkrun is a great example of a way people can get out of the house, meet new people and increase their physical activity.”

Why prescribe parkrun 

Motivations for prescribing parkrun include:

  • Improving fitness (91 per cent)
  • Improving wellbeing (78 per cent)
  • Making friends (56 per cent)
  • Empowering people to manage their health (53 per cent)
  • Improving social connectivity (51 per cent)
  • Exposure to nature (47 per cent)
  • Increasing self-confidence (43 per cent)
  • Reducing loneliness (37 per cent)

“This survey supports strong anecdotal evidence that parkrun is increasingly being used by health professionals as a non-medical referral option that can operate alongside existing treatments to improve the health and wellbeing of patients,” said parkrun Australia’s Health and Wellbeing Lead, Glen Turner.

“What’s particularly encouraging is that there is a broad understanding of the wide range of ways people can benefit from parkrun, whether they choose to walk, run, volunteer or simply spectate and socialise.”

Of those who don’t refer, 87 per cent report that they would consider prescribing parkrun in future, while 54 per cent reveal that the main reason for not referring is that it isn’t something they previously considered.

About parkrun 

The 5km parkruns are free, socially focused community events that take place in 368 parks and open spaces around Australia every Saturday morning and are coordinated entirely by volunteers.

For more information or to join a parkrun near you, visit –