The research is the first large-scale study to examine the benefits of attending any type of live sporting event.
The study, conducted by academics from Anglia Ruskin University’s School of Psychology and Sport Science, used data from 7,209 adults aged 16-85 living in England who took part in the Taking Part survey, which was published by the British government’s digital department. was commissioned by , culture, media and sport.
Is Participating in Live Sports Good for Mental Health and Wellbeing?
It found that attending live sporting events resulted in higher scores of two key measures of subjective well-being – life satisfaction and a sense of “life being meaningful” – as well as lower levels of loneliness.
These results are important because previous studies have shown that higher life satisfaction scores are associated with fewer life-limiting conditions and better physical health, successful aging, and lower mortality.
The new study also found that attending live sporting events increases people’s sense that “life is worthwhile”, and the size of this increase is comparable to that of gaining employment.
Many initiatives currently promote the benefits of physical participation in sport, but the researchers believe that viewing live sporting events may also provide an accessible and effective public health tool for improving well-being and reducing loneliness. .
Lead author Dr Helen Keyes, from 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 college students in the United States. Ours is the first study to look at the benefits of attending any sporting event in an adult population, and so our findings may be useful for shaping future public health strategies, such as ticket prices for certain groups. to offer a reduction in
“The live events covered by the survey ranged from free amateur events, such as watching village sports teams, through to Premier League football matches. Therefore, further research needs to be done to see if these benefits extend to elite-level sport.” whether more explicit for, or more closely tied to, supporting a specific team.
“However, we do know that watching live sport of all types provides many opportunities for social interaction and helps to build group identity and belonging, which in turn reduces loneliness and increases levels of well-being “Life Style