Whether you’re cheering for your kid’s little league team or rooting for your favorite professional team, being a sports fan is good for your health.
You may think of devoted sports fans as couch potatoes who drink beer beer and stare at the TV screen, but sports is seen as a social catalyst that connects people and there are many health benefits to being a sports fan.
Here's how watching sports can aid in your health and well-being:
Staves off depression -When you root for your team you tend to be less depressed than those who are uninvolved. It’s a good way to stay involved in larger events and this behavior is associated with a lower risk of depression. According to a study from the University of Kansas, sports fans experience fewer bouts of depression and alienation compared with people who are uninterested in sports.
Strengthens relationships - Watching the game together as a couple can actually create a stronger bond between you and your partner. When couples join each other and share a common bond, such as watching a sporting event, they tend to be more satisfied with their relationship than if they completely split off during those times.
Lengthens your life - The social aspect of watching sports can play a part in your longevity. People live longer and recover more quickly from an illness when they have strong cases of social support. So, if you have a group of people you watch a game with consistently who offer support when you are down, it leads to longevity and can keep you active and engaged and alive longer.
Keeps your mind active - Avid sports fans often break down a game and analyze it as a puzzle - like a mental exercise. This helps keep your mind sharper and more active over a period of time.
Helps you lose weight - Watching sports can inspire you by keeping movement and sports in in your mind. Plus, working out while decked out in your team gear can help motivate you. Also, just cheering for your team can help you burn calories. The average 150-pound woman burns more than 100 calories per hour attending a live sporting event.
Builds self-esteem - Rooting for teams is reflective of a primitive tribal impulse that wants our group, our geographic tribe, to prevail. So when local sports teams win, there’s plenty of evidence that people actually feel better about themselves.
Gives you a common language - Being a fan of a sports team can also be a deeply rooted heritage that connects you to others across time, transcending the barriers that divide people generationally.
Lets you blow off steam - Watching sports is also a chance to yell at a bad call and scream with joy when your team scores. Also, in a culture where men often feel that they have to stifle emotional expressions, sports fandom offers some a safe space to feel, cry, laugh or show signs of affection.