The Health Benefits to Watching Sports

The Health Benefits to Watching Sports

Health and Fitness

The Health Benefits to Watching Sports


Sports are something that people all over the world enjoy. Whether they are actually taking part or merely watching as a spectator, sports are an activity that provide people with a common connection and the potential to share special moments with complete strangers.

People have been taking part in sporting events for thousands of years, and people have been watching the events take place for that long as well. Think back to the ancient Olympic games in Greece, where the competitors took part in a range of sporting events such as running, jumping and wrestling. Even back then, spectators were permitted into the stadium to watch the games take place.

Aug 31, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (center) celebrates with his team after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the second overtime period in game five of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning won the game 3-2 in double overtime to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Taking part in sporting events

It’s often the dream of many young boys and girls to score the winning goal in the World Cup final, or to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. However, for most, this dream will remain as such – merely a dream. It takes a huge amount of dedication and work to become a professional athlete, and not every individual is lucky or talented enough to make their dream come true.

For many people, watching sporting events is the next best thing, whether it be in person at the stadium where the sports are taking place, or on television. Many people who watch sports on TV are often stereotyped as being lazy and unhealthy – armchair spectators if you like. This misconception is not fair though, and a lot of people who watch sports at home may lead very healthy and active lives.

Health benefits from watching sports

As strange as it may sound at first, there are actually a number of health benefits that can be gained from watching sports. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most common and how they can help us in a number of ways.

Lowers the risk of depression

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions, and are something that affects people all over the world. Watching sports often makes the person feel that they are an active participant in the event, and not just a spectator. It’s a great way to improve your mood and feel good for a few hours.

There are two sides of the coin though that need to be looked at. Take football for example. When your team loses you are obviously going to be unhappy and not in the best mood. But this sadness is temporary, and is soon replaced with anticipation for the next game. And when your team wins, you are in a great mood, and feel positive for the rest of the day. 

Many people also watch sports with friends or family, so it becomes a time when people can socialize, rather than be isolated. However, through the power of technology, you can always connect with other fans and friends and enjoy the event together, even if you are not physically in the same room watching it.

Dec 9, 2020; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Amauri Hardy (11) dunks the ball past Florida A&M Rattlers forward Johnny Brown (21) during the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It provides a small workout

You might think that sitting on a chair watching sports on TV means you are not being too active, but you are having some form of workout. You are actually getting a brain workout when watching sports, as your mind is constantly buzzing, trying to work out what is needed in the game to get maximum points, or analyse how certain players are performing. If you are someone who feels the need to kick every ball during a Premier League football match, then you might also be getting a physical workout as well.

For many people, after they’ve watched a sporting event on TV such as football or tennis, they often want to go outside and enjoy a kick about or a few rounds of tennis themselves. It’s a great motivator and a way of encouraging people to enjoy a little more physical activity than they might normally would.

Build relationships

Supporting your local football team can be a great way to build relationships with other fans. Whether you are watching sports in the stadium, or at a bar with other people, there is often a comrade among fans of the same team, and this is something that can be extended and taken further, by socializing and meeting up for non-sport related gatherings.

Seeing your local team being successful makes many fans feel that they have helped with the achievement through their unwavering support over the years. This in turn gives a boost to an individual’s self-belief and confidence.

Some final thoughts

Sports are something that bring people together. They are an activity that can be enjoyed by huge numbers of people, from all walks of life, with people coming together to support their favourite team or athlete. 

Watching sports is a great pastime, and a way in which you can escape from the routine and stress of your daily life for a few hours each week.

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