the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Finn Seeley ’24
A large-scale research study evaluating data from 7,209 responses, from a group of people ages 16-85, demonstrated that attending live sporting events as a spectator improves people’s well-being. The study — published by ScienceDaily in March of 2023, and carried out by academics from Anglia Ruskin University’s School of Psychology and Sport Science—studied people living in England who participated in a survey that was commissioned by the British government.
The study found that attending live sporting events improves people’s life satisfaction and levels of loneliness. These results are significant, as previous studies have concluded that higher life satisfaction scores are associated with a decrease in life-limiting conditions. An increase in life satisfaction scores also correlates with better physical health, successful aging, and lower mortality rates.
This study could perhaps help shape public health strategies in the future, and result in benefits such as offering reduced ticket prices to sporting events for specific groups. The level of sports considered in this study ranged from watching local village sports teams to attending Premier League soccer matches.
While further studies must be carried out to see if the benefits are more closely linked to supporting certain teams, lead author Dr. Helen Keyes, Head of the School of Psychology and Sport Science at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “We do know that watching live sport of all types provides many opportunities for social interaction and this helps to forge group identity and belonging, which in turn mitigates loneliness and boosts levels of well-being.”