Study: Attending Live Sport Improves Well-Being

New scientific research has found that attending live sporting events improves well-being and reduces feelings of loneliness.

Published in the magazine frontiers in public healththe study is the first large-scale study to examine the benefits of participating in live sports of any kindng event.

The learnconducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin University’s School of Psychology and Sport Science, used data from 7,209 adults aged 16 to 85 living in England who took part in the study Participating surveycommissioned by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It found that attending live sporting events resulted in higher scores on two key measures of subjective well-being—life satisfaction and feeling “life is worth living”—as well as lower levels of loneliness.

These results are significant as previous studies have shown that higher life satisfaction scores are associated with fewer life-limiting illnesses and better physical health, successful aging and lower mortality rates.

The new study also found that attending live sporting events leads to greater feelings in people that “life is worthwhile”, and the magnitude of this increase is comparable to that of taking up employment.

Many initiatives are currently promoting the benefits of physical participation in sport, but researchers believe that watching live sporting events can also be an accessible and effective public health tool to improve well-being and reduce loneliness.

The lead author Dr. Helen Keyes, Head of the School of Psychology and Sport Science at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “Previous research has focused on specific sports or small population samples, such as B. College students in the United States. Ours is the first study to examine the benefits of attending a sporting event for an adult population and therefore our results could be useful in designing future public health strategies, e.g. B. offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups.

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“The live events covered by the survey ranged from free amateur events, such as from watching village sports teams, to Premier League football matches. As such, more research needs to be done to determine whether these benefits are more pronounced for elite-level sports or are more closely associated with supporting a particular team.

“However, we know that watching live sports of all types provides many opportunities for social interaction and this helps forge group identity and belonging, which in turn reduces loneliness and increases well-being.”

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