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Going to a game may boost your well-being


Photo: simonkr/iStockphoto

Looking for a way feel less lonely and give your well-being a boost? Attend a live sporting event, British researchers say.

They looked at data from more than 7,200 adult and teen respondents to the Taking Part 2019-2020 Survey, which focused on participation in culture and sport among British households.

Findings show that the respondents who attended sporting events – anything from a Premier League soccer match to a free contest between amateur village teams – scored higher in life satisfaction and a sense of “life being worthwhile.”

The increase in feelings of “life being worthwhile” after attending a match was equivalent to those of getting a new job, the researchers said. Previous studies that examined high life-satisfaction scores associated them with fewer life-limiting conditions, better physical health, successful aging and lower death rates.

In addition, the respondents who attended sporting events reported lower levels of loneliness. The researchers say live sporting events offer numerous opportunities for social interaction with other fans, sparking feelings of belonging and the ability to forge a group identity.


“Our findings could be useful for shaping future public health strategies, such as offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups,” lead study author Helen Keyes, head of the Anglia Ruskin University School of Psychology and Sport Science, said in a press release.

The study was published online in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.

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