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Title: Facilitating participation in health-enhancing physical activity: a qualitative study of parkrun
Authors: Stevinson, Clare
Wiltshire, Gareth
Hickson, Mary
Keywords: Physical activity
Qualitative research
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Springer © International Society of Behavioral Medicine
Citation: STEVINSON, C., WILTSHIRE, G. and HICKSON, M., 2015. Facilitating participation in health-enhancing physical activity: a qualitative study of parkrun. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22(2), pp.170-177
Abstract: Background Public health guidelines emphasise the value of vigorous intensity physical activity, but participation levels are low. Purpose This study was aimed at identifying factors contributing to initial and sustained engagement in parkrun in the UK, to inform the design of community-based interventions promoting health-enhancing physical activity. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone with 48 adult participants of parkrun, a national network of weekly, free, volunteer-led, timed 5 km runs in public spaces. The framework approach was used for thematic analysis of transcripts. Results Two overarching themes emerged: freedom and reciprocity. Freedom referred to the accessibility and inclusivity of events, both of which contributed to initial attendance and sustained involvement. Reciprocity related to the dual opportunity for personal gain and for helping others. Anticipation of fitness and health benefits were important for initial motivation. However, additional aspects motivating continued involvement included achievement of time or attendance goals, social cohesion, and contributing to the community. Conclusions Specific features of the parkrun experience encouraged participation including the accessible, inclusive ethos, achievement opportunities, and inherent social support, along with the outdoor natural settings, and integrated volunteer system. The inclusion of these elements in community-based interventions may increase success in initiating and maintaining health-enhancing physical activity.
Description: This article was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine [© 2014 International Society of Behavioral Medicine]. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12529-014-9431-5
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1007/s12529-014-9431-5
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/16090
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12529-014-9431-5
ISSN: 1070-5503
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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