Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital in Chandler’s Ford is joining forces with the organisers of Southampton’s popular Parkrun this October to officially launch the south’s first-ever ‘parkwalk at parkrun’, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the popular weekly free timed run.


On Saturday October 12 at 9am, the Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital Walk Challenge will take place on Southampton Common as part of the inaugural 5km ‘parkwalk at parkrun’ and aims to encourage past hip and knee replacement patients, as well as hospital physiotherapists and orthopaedic surgeons, to participate in the walk and raise awareness of successful recovery back to an active lifestyle post-surgery.


The Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital Walk Challenge supports the parkwalk objective to be inclusive and help people of all abilities get involved with an active pursuit with the support and guidance of walk leaders. In addition, the collaboration with parkwalk celebrates the recent introduction of pioneering Mako™ robotic-arm assisted technology at Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital.  This new technology assists orthopaedic surgeons to fit a hip or knee implant with even greater accuracy, reducing pain and speeding up recovery time meaning a patient may return to their former lifestyle quicker.


A team from the hospital will be on-hand during the walk to talk about joint pain and treatments available to those experiencing joint discomfort.  To take part, walkers are being encouraged to register for free via the registration page on the parkrun website and in doing so will be able to receive a timed walk.


Thelma Henderson, hospital director at Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital, says: “Walking is a great form of exercise that can improve health and wellbeing, and returning to everyday activities is important for a full recovery after hip or knee replacement surgery.  Joint replacement patients are encouraged to do low-impact exercise, such as walking, following surgery as keeping muscles strong is essential to promote function.


“We are delighted that the Nuffield Health Wessex Walk Challenge is to be part of the south’s first-ever parkwalk at parkrun event.  We hope to not only encourage any patient who has had a hip or a knee replacement and can walk 5km to come along to Southampton Common on October 12 and participate, but also our orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists to take part as well.”


Rob Kelly, event director of Southampton parkrun, adds: “We are delighted to partner with Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital to introduce not only Hampshire’s first-ever parkwalk but also the first in the south of England.  With the hospital’s support, we aim to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in our 5km walk which will take place alongside the parkrun course.  Walkers will be met by leaders, who will guide them through the walk at their own pace.


“We believe parkwalk will have a positive impact on the fitness levels of the community and become as popular as parkrun which launched 15 years ago in Bushy Park, London, and now takes place in 1,400 locations in 23 countries, witnessing more than 2,000,000 runners take part.”


To register for parkwalk please visit