It doesn’t take a scientist to know that it feels good when your football team is winning. For the last few weeks Seattle Seahawks fans have been riding high after their team won the ultimate prize. But, if a report from this weekend’s Seattle Times is to be believed, cheering your hometown team like a maniac may actually provide substantial benefits for your health.
The article by Larry Stone details some interesting findings relating sports fandom and psychological health:
“For starters, studies show that rabid sports fans have higher self-esteem and are less depressed, less alienated and less lonely. Daniel Wann, a psychology professor at Murray State and a leading expert on fan behavior, has compiled a list of 24 benefits of social well being that come with identifying with a sports team…”
It’s not just your mind that benefits from feeling connected with your team, either. When your team does well, fans tend to eat healthier and treat their bodies better. The inverse is true after losses:
“According to a 2013 study published in Psychological Science, fans were found to eat healthier when their team won. Two researchers at INSEAD Business School compared outcomes from two seasons’ worth of NFL games with food consumption in more than two dozen cities. They found that people in cities with a losing football team ate about 16 percent more saturated fat on Monday compared to their usual consumption. And people in winning cities ate about 9 percent less saturated fats…”
Apprently being part of a sports community can be just as important for identity as church or family. Fascinating stuff. You can read the entire article here.
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