Over the past 17 years we’ve placed a high priority on listening to the parkrun community and gathering insight to help support our decision making.
It’s really important for us to keep on top of how the parkrun community is feeling and, over the past few years, we have focused our efforts on gathering a continuous loop of meaningful insight and feedback.
This information helps us to make the right decisions, at the right time. One aspect of this insight comes from regularly surveying our volunteers to help us to understand their experience, motivations, concerns and challenges.
The size of the parkrun community and the willingness to answer our questions means we are able to generate a level of response that is statistically robust, allowing us to confidently extrapolate findings across a population with a high degree of accuracy.
Alongside our regular surveys and questionnaires we also get incredible insight from the statistics which are generated every time someone participates at parkrun.
These stats give us a clear understanding of how often certain demographics participate, and it’s this data that reveals valuable insights. Like the average parkrun event having 16 volunteers per week, that 60,000 people have volunteered and not walked, jogged, or ran, and that 85,000 under 18-year-olds have volunteered at parkrun.
We also develop our insight by commissioning external research, such as the 2019 UK and Ireland Health and Wellbeing surveys which received around 70,000 responses and have highlighted the significant mental and physical health impacts that parkrun is having, especially for those who volunteer.
It was those that volunteer at parkrun who reported the greatest benefits to their health and happiness, with 84% of respondents reporting feeling positive after volunteering.
We work with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield, UK, which chairs the parkrun Research Board; a group of academics from across the world with expertise in health and wellbeing research.
All of this information helps to guide us in our decision making, informs our operational policies, and assists us in designing our health and wellbeing interventions.
As parkrun continues to grow it’s more important than ever that we continue to ask the right questions to the right people, at the right time. And to listen to the feedback, and continue to strive to always improve the parkrun experience, for everyone.
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