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Norwich doctors prescribe parkrun for patients to improve health and wellbeing

GPs at Oak Street Medical Practice along with the run director from the Norwich parkrun, Mary Cordeaux. Photo credit: Active Norfolk

GPs at Oak Street Medical Practice along with the run director from the Norwich parkrun, Mary Cordeaux. Photo credit: Active Norfolk

Archant

Doctors in Norwich will start to advise patients to visit their local parkrun to improve their health and wellbeing.

The parkrun practice initiative encourages GP surgeries across the country to refer their patients to take part in the weekly events.

Oak Street Medical Practice, at Oak Street in Norwich, is already running the scheme.

The initiative is part of a national campaign led by parkrun UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Parkruns are free 5km timed runs organised by volunteers. It is not a race and people are invited to either run or walk around the course.

Dr Lucia Fitzpatrick, GP partner at Oak Street Medical Practice, said: “This initiative is fantastic for both staff and patients, and perfect for our practice because already in consultations if people are talking about changing their lifestyle, we would ask if they have considered parkrun.

“Being part of a bigger community, belonging in your community and being more rooted within it, gives people a sense of value that is very positive for them.”

According to the latest Active Lives Survey, Norwich adults are among the most active in the county.

However there are still 22.6pc of adults in the city who do less than 30 minutes of exercise each week.

As part of its commitment to the initiative, the practice plans to take part in regular Saturday parkruns, with invitations for patients to join them.

In order to be a parkrun practice, a GP surgery must be formally partnered with its local parkrun through completion of an application via the RCGP website.

Oak Street Medical Practice is partnering with Norwich parkrun based at Eaton Park, and will be engaging with Catton parkrun in the near future.

Mary Cordeaux, run director at Norwich parkrun, which is based at Eaton Park, said: “Oak Street Medical Practice is the first practice to take up the parkrun practice initiative in Norwich and we are delighted to be linked with them.”

Parkrun UK has put together a toolkit for practices to use to help communicate the benefits of parkrun.

For more information on the parkrun practice initiative and to download the toolkit, visit www.activenorfolk.org/parkrun-practice

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