According to an English study, supporting a team has beneficial properties for mental health. In addition to creating cohesion between fans, it gives extra motivation to practice a sporting activity.
“Go Blues!” If you needed an excuse to support the women’s football team at Euro Football in England or to get excited about the Tour de France, here’s what should surprise sports fans.
According to research published by Better*, a local sports company and charity, half of respondents (49%) agree that encouraging a team is good for their mental health. 51% of men think so and 46% of women.
These benefits are especially noticeable with socialization. One in two people say watching a sporting event helps them connect with family and friends. More than a third of respondents (35%) feel included in a community.
From television to the gym
Gone is the image of the supporter slumped on his couch, a packet of chips in his hand. According to the survey, a third of respondents (34%) feel motivated to exercise more. In addition, a fifth of women watch their favorite team while exercising at home or from the gym.
But not all sports are on the same level. The study ranked supporters in Britain according to their fitness level based on their favorite sport, by comparing their physical activity, their diet or their alcohol consumption. Cyclists and tennis fans come first, ahead of fans of golf, Formula 1, cricket, football and rugby.
“These results show how essential the presence of sport has been, improving socialization with friends, mental health and a sense of belonging to a close-knit community. It also encourages a large number of people to become more active themselves, and this is a key goal of Better, to increase participation in sport and fitness at all ages and levels.”concluded Phil Hannen, health manager for Better.
*Methodology: The survey was conducted in June 2022 among 2,000 UK sports fans via OnePoll
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