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Running in the park not only makes us fitter but “happier” too

It is a well-known fact that exercising has a multitude of health benefits from reducing the risk of menacing diseases and improving sleep quality to raising up the energy level and the list goes on. But did you know, all it takes to be happy is a parkrun!

In a study by Glasgow Caledonian University 7120 out of 8000 people said parkrun made them not only more healthy but also happier. The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was used to estimate the happiness on a scale of 1 (unhappy) to 6 (extremely happy). Parkrun participants scored an average of 4.4, compared to the general population, who score an average 4.

Interestingly,  people using the athletes’ social network Strava said that 83% of them were more motivated to exercise although general social media can often be a source of anxiety and a negative influence on self-esteem. Ian Young, the run director for parkrun in County Durham, said: “There is a huge sense of belonging and achievement and both Strava and parkrun are a great way to meet up to run, socialize and make new friends – providing me with a great support network.”

A 2017 survey showed that parkrun is even “prescribed” to patients by health specialists. Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, said: “Belonging to such social and supportive networks, which show the joy that regular physical activity brings, can be a significant catalyst for it becoming a lifelong habit.”

Credit Source: Kate Carter, The Guardian

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