Supporting your favorite sports team may have beneficial effects on mental health, according to a British study.

In addition to creating cohesion among fans, it can provide extra motivation for people to get up and get active.

If you needed an excuse to cheer on your favorite team in the new English Premier League season starting tomorrow (August 6, 2022) or tune in to the ongoing Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham, England , then this news should be music. to your ears.

According to research published by Better – a UK-based charity social enterprise that provides access to community facilities – half of those surveyed (49%) believe cheering on a team is good for their mental health.

Some 51% of men and 46% of women surveyed agreed.

These benefits are particularly noticeable in terms of social interactions.

One in two say watching a sporting event helps them socialize more with family and friends.

More than a third of respondents (35%) feel included in a community.

From TV to the gym

And the image of the sports fan slumped on the couch with a bag of chips in his hand is over.

According to the study, a third of respondents (34%) said that watching sporting events encouraged them to be more active.

In fact, one-fifth of women watch sports while exercising at home or at the gym.

But not all sports fans are as active as others.

The study ranked fans in the UK according to their favorite sport and their level of health and fitness, taking into account, for example, their physical activity, diet and alcohol consumption.

Cycling and tennis fans top the list, ahead of golf, Formula 1, cricket, soccer and rugby fans.

“We can see from these results how essential the presence of sport has been – improving socialization with friends, improving mental health and allowing fans to feel part of a tight-knit community.

“It also encourages a lot of people to become more active themselves, and that’s a huge goal of Better, to increase participation in sport and fitness at all ages and abilities,” concludes Phil Hannen. , responsible for the organization’s health interventions.

The study was conducted in June (2022) among 2,000 UK sports fans. – AFP Relax News