4media Group recently worked with Strava to discuss findings from a new survey into the benefits of parkrun, particularly happiness. Glasgow Caledonian University measured happiness using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, a well-established method used by scientists to measure ‘subjective wellbeing’ for over a decade. It scores on a scale of 1 (unhappy) to 6 (extremely happy).
The campaign was fronted by former Commonwealth Champion Jo Pavey MBE and parkrun World Record holder and Olympic, European, world and Commonwealth finalist, Andy Baddeley.
The research found that getting out on a weekend and joining in your local parkrun can do more for your health than just make you fit. According to the research, 89% of those surveyed said that taking part in a parkrun has made them happier. Members of the parkrun and Strava communities found to be happier, more confident, more motivated and happier with their body image than the general population with women reporting the largest positive effect on their self-confidence from both Strava and parkrun
Over 30% of those who are participating in parkruns use Strava – the social network for athletes that tracks and records exercise activities – to monitor their weekly progress and keep in touch with their fellow runners away from their regular parkruns. As of April 2018, 29 million people across 195 countries call Strava the home for their active life, and across the world there are over 2.8 million parkrunners.
The campaign was a huge success with a full day of broadcast interviews. The broadcast day featured 18 interviews, including 7 BBC Radios such as BBC Scotland, BBC Ulster, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio Leeds and more! The campaign also included an interview on Sky News Sunrise.