Leiston GP surgery to 'prescribe' parkrun to patients
A doctors surgery has become the first in Suffolk to "prescribe" parkrun to patients who would benefit from being more active.
A "social prescribing" scheme was started earlier this year by parkrun UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
It allows doctors to prescribe outdoor activity rather than medication.
The Leiston Surgery has become a registered "parkrun practice", with its nearest event based at Sizewell.
Suffolk County Council said other GP practices in Suffolk will be following Leiston's lead, with a number of doctors surgeries working with the NHS to create parkrun practices linked with the Ipswich parkrun in Chantry and Christchurch parks.
Dr Juno Jesuthasan, from the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Physical inactivity is one of the major public health problems of the 21st Century, affecting both our physical and mental wellbeing.
"GP practices already actively engage with their patients on how taking more exercise can be bring a host of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
"The parkrun Practice is an initiative we support and hope that other GP practices will sign up and encourage many more people to get active."
Parkruns are free, weekly events organised by local volunteer teams in more than 750 locations across the UK offering 5km (3 mile) and 2km (1.2 mile) runs.
Suffolk County Council said about 2,000 participants take part in parkruns across the county every week.