Watching live sporting events increases wellbeing  •

A new study led by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has found that attending live sporting events can improve well-being and reduce feelings of loneliness. While previous research has focused primarily on specific sports or small population samples, this is the first large-scale study to examine the health benefits of attending live sporting events of any kind.

The researchers used data from 7,209 UK adults (aged 16 to 85) who took part in the Taking Part Survey, a major initiative focused on people’s engagement with sport, arts, libraries, museums and galleries, and heritage concentrated.

The analysis found that people who attended live sporting events performed better on two key measures of subjective well-being — life satisfaction and feeling that life is worthwhile — while they experienced less loneliness. Because higher life satisfaction is known to be associated with better physical and mental health, successful aging, and lower mortality rates, these findings could have important public health implications.

While many current initiatives promote the health benefits of physical participation in sport, this study provides clear evidence that watching live sporting events could also be an accessible and effective tool to improve well-being and reduce loneliness.

“Previous research has focused on specific sports or small population samples, such as B. College students in the United States. Our study is the first 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. For example, offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups,” said lead author Helen Keyes, the director of the Department of Psychology and Exercise Science at ARU.

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

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

The study is published in the journal frontiers in public health.

From Andrei Ionescu, Staff writer

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