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The Studies and Science behind a Parkrun

Updated: Apr 3

Parkrun studies science

As a recent participant in Parkruns, I thought it might be interesting to dig into any studies and science behind the Saturday morning community phenomenon that so many people enjoy.

If you have any studies to add, please let me know in the comments at end of page.

If you are interested in learning more or joining a Singapore Parkrun, please see here.

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Gilburn AS. New Parkrunners Are Slower and the Attendance Gender Gap Narrowing Making Parkrun More Inclusive. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 17;20(4):3602. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043602. PMID: 36834295; PMCID: PMC9959326.

Garcia Ashdown-Franks, Catherine M. Sabiston, Brendon Stubbs, Michael Atkinson, Helen Quirk, Alice Bullas & Steve Haake (2023) Parkrun participation, impact and perceived social inclusion among runners/walkers and volunteers with mental health conditions, Psychology, Health & Medicine, 28:9, 2621-2634, DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2023.2185643

Peterson B, Withers B, Hawke F, Spink M, Callister R, Chuter V. Outcomes of participation in parkrun, and factors influencing why and how often individuals participate: A systematic review of quantitative studies. J Sports Sci. 2022 Jul;40(13):1486-1499. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2022.2086522. Epub 2022 Jun 13. PMID: 35695484.

Russell Warhurst & Kate Black (2022) Lost and found: parkrun, work and identity, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 14:3, 397-412, DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2021.1924244

Steve Haake, Helen Quirk, Alice Bullas Parkrun and the promotion of physical activity: insights for primary care clinicians from an online survey, British Journal of General Practice 2022; 72 (722): e634-e640. DOI: 10.3399/BJGP.2022.0001

Anna Baker, Sarah Snuggs Why do people participate in Parkrun? A Systematic Review Behavioural Science and Public Health Network, Autumn / Winter 2022

Quirk H, Bullas A, Haake S, Goyder E, Graney M, Wellington C, Copeland R, Reece L, Stevinson C. Exploring the benefits of participation in community-based running and walking events: a cross-sectional survey of parkrun participants. BMC Public Health. 2021 Nov 2;21(1):1978. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-11986-0. PMID: 34727918; PMCID: PMC8561845.

Smith RA, Schneider PP, Cosulich R, Quirk H, Bullas AM, Haake SJ, Goyder E. Socioeconomic inequalities in distance to and participation in a community-based running and walking activity: A longitudinal ecological study of parkrun 2010 to 2019. Health Place. 2021 Sep;71:102626. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102626. Epub 2021 Jul 29. PMID: 34333371; PMCID: PMC8522482.

Rachel Hallett, Karolina Gombert & Michael Hurley (2021) “Everyone Should Muck In”: A Qualitative Study of parkrun Volunteering and Conflicting Motivations, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 33:5, 493-515, DOI: 10.1080/10495142.2020.1760996

James Bowness, Emmanuelle Tulle & John McKendrick (2021) Understanding the parkrun community; sacred Saturdays and organic solidarity of parkrunners, European Journal for Sport and Society, 18:1, 44-63, DOI: 10.1080/16138171.2020.1792113

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 Dec 11;18(24):13072. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182413072. PMID: 34948683; PMCID: PMC8702167.


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