On Saturday 27th July, Modern Medical Caroline Springs became the first medical centre to 'takeover' a Parkrun in Australia. A weekly, free and timed 5km run (or walk) held every Saturday around the world, Parkrun is a community-led initiative. Our doctors, nurses and staff volunteered in the 'practice takeover', where our team were responsible for organising and managing the event.
With a big push in the local media, with our Caroline Springs patients, friends and family, the team motivated just under 100 people to participate. A large increase from the 60 the week before.
While it was a fun event for our team to participate and support, it was really about encouraging people to live healthier and more active lives. Called 'social prescribing' we encouraged our community to participate for the physical and social benefits. Our Medical Director, Dr Jennifer Maxwell, said it was a hugely successful morning. “Participants expressed interest in both running and walking the course again and taking on volunteer roles, proof that Parkrun is not only good for physical health but mental health as well,” Dr Maxwell said. “That’s the joy of Parkrun. It has given us something really tangible to promote as being both good for physical health and social wellbeing. And it doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can have a go,” she said.
Parkrun Australia’s Health and Wellbeing Lead, Glen Turner, said “If we are serious about engaging those in society who potentially have the most to gain from Parkrun we need to find ways to take our message beyond the point where word of mouth stops. Collaborating closely with health practitioners represents a significant first step because they are a regular touchpoint for many of the people we want to reach, and because of their standing and credibility in the community.
“These takeover events are so important because they increase the awareness and understanding that practitioners have of Parkrun, which empowers them to have a conversation with patients who could potentially benefit more from Parkrun participation than traditional medication. Additionally, Parkrun can have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of practitioners and staff.”
Stay well and live well.
Feel like a 5km run or walk this Saturday? Why not join in the fun, meet some new people and get active at your local Parkrun! You can find your nearest Parkrun on their website: www.parkrun.com.au
If you want to increase your physical activity levels and would like some professional advice on the best ways to do so, a health assessment with your GP is a good place to start. Learn more by reading "Health Matters - Move your way to good health"