People are often bitching at me about how much time I spend watching football because they don’t get it and that’s cool, because now I can throw it back in their face and say it’s actually good for me thanks to the results of this new study.
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The study was completed by the University Of Leeds’ Human Biology and Psychology Department and analysed the reactions of 25 football fans aged 25 – 62. Here are the results that were obtained:
- The ‘positive stress’ from elevated heart rates was similar to a moderate cardiovascular workout – a positive health benefit.
- Watching your team win also resulted in the lowering of blood pressure.
- Psychologically, a win was found to improve mood for a period of 24 hours, while a loss resulted in an extended period of low mood and depression. Football fans are likely addicted to the ‘highs’ associated with winning.
- The longer fans had supported their club, the greater the accompanying physiological and psychological effects.
To further explain these results, Dr. Andrea Utley – Reader in Motor Control and Development at the University of Leeds – said the following:
It was clear that fans were passionate about the game with heart rate elevated during the match to a similar level to that when going for a brisk walk (generally 20% higher than resting heart rate).
A goal for either team caused a brief increase in heart rate of an average of 20bpm from the match average.
Ultimately supporting your team at a football match gives you a moderate cardiovascular workout and depending on the result of the match, a psychological boost or slump.
Well there you have it – no need to go for some pointless morning walk to the local farmer’s market anymore to not buy anything, just whack the football on in the morning instead. Perfect.
* Although it probably only really applies if you support someone like Man City or Liverpool in the current climate because otherwise you’re going to be really bummed out after every game, even if you do end up having a decent cardiovascular workout. Maybe time to burn that old Birmingham City shirt for the sake of my mental health.
For more of the same, check out the worst football miss of all time. Imagine if you were a PSG fan when you saw that.