Suffolk GP practice prescribing parkruns

7 January 2019, 07:15 | Updated: 7 January 2019, 07:17


A GP practice in Suffolk wants some patients to get trainers - not just tablets.

The Leiston Surgery has started prescribing 5k parkruns.

"They help with ongoing depression, diabetes, heart disease - and help with people's blood pressures, and just help to get people fitter," practice manager Sarah McLennan told Heart.

"I think when it comes from a clinical person asking you if you'd be interested in participating {in a parkrun} patients may be more inclined to go along."

It's hoped more patients doing the runs will reduce the need for lifelong medication.

The Royal College of General Practitioners and parkrun UK teamed up to launched the initiative, which sees GP practices encouraged to develop closer links with their local parkrun to become certified 'parkrun practices', with health care practitioners signposting patients and carers to parkrun, particularly those who are the least active and have long-term health conditions.

There are more than 500 parkruns across the UK, many situated close to GP practices.

They are free, 5k events that take place every Saturday morning year-round in public areas of open space. Each event is coordinated entirely by local volunteers and they are accessible for people of all ages and abilities.