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Bright Spots, physical activity investments that work: Parkrun; a global initiative striving for healthier and happier communities
  1. Lindsey J Reece1,
  2. Helen Quirk2,
  3. Chrissie Wellington3,
  4. Steve J Haake4,
  5. Fiona Wilson5
  1. 1 Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
  3. 3 Parkrun, Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, London, UK
  4. 4 Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
  5. 5 School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lindsey J Reece, Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney 2000, Australia; lindsey.reece{at}

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Programme card

  • Country

    • Starting in the UK, parkrun is now in 20 countries worldwide, including Australia and South Africa.

  • Target population

    • Parkrun is for everyone, anywhere. It is aimed at all ability levels and welcomes walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers.

  • What modes/types/domains of physical activity does the programme promote?

    • Free, weekly 2 and 5 km events in public spaces around the world promoting opportunities for everyone to walk, jog, run or volunteer.

  • Which of the seven best investments does the programme address?

    • Sport and active recreation, health, community-wide programme.

  • What sectors does it involve?

    • Parkrun adopts a whole systems, collaborative approach.

  • Estimated reach

    • To date, over 230 000 parkrun events have taken place worldwide attracting over 3 million unique parkrunners with a network of over 375 000 volunteers.

  • What is special?

    • Parkrun is the biggest running event in the world and is accessible to all. It is also one of the largest providers of volunteer opportunities in the sports and physical activity sector. Parkrun breaks down barriers to participation and challenges what it looks and means to be physically active. It is the one of the best examples of an ever-growing global movement with the potential to improve population health and well-being.

  • Key details

    • Dr Lindsey Reece - @lindseyreece28 @parkrun

    • Parkrun website #parkrun


The concept is simple; free, weekly, timed 5 km …

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  • Contributors LJR: led the writing of this article with HQ and SJH providing feedback during draft process. SJH and CW: also provided support with data access from Parkrun. FW: oversaw the process.

  • Competing interests LJR and SJH are members of the Global Parkrun Research Board. CW is also Head of Health and Wellbeing at Parkrun.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.