Study reveals that watching football is actually good for your health


Rejoice! A study conducted by the University of Leeds and BetVictor has revealed the potential health benefits of watching football.  The experiment, using 25 Leeds fans aged between 20 and 60, found that the elevated heart rates supporters experienced while watching games was a “positive stress” equivalent to a moderate cardiovascular workout. “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,” said Dr Andrea Utley, Reader in Motor Control and Development at the University of Leeds. “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.”  INSIDE STORY A year with Marcelo Bielsa: the inside story of Leeds United’s revival Over the course of three games, participants’ heartrates increased to a high of 130 beats-per-minute, 64% up on the average base rate.  A Leeds goal had the most drastic effect on fans, increasing heart rates by an average of 27%, while a goal conceded also boosted them by 22%.  Watching games live in the stadium had a more pronounced effect on participants, with heart rates increased by 11% when compared to watching matches on television in a group setting.  Recommended The real ‘anti-Guardiola’? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reaping the rewards of Manchester United’s counter-attack How Johan Cruyff’s legacy could form the model for the new top-heavy Arsenal Lowered blood pressure after wins was also found to have positive health benefits, although the increased levels experienced after defeats did not. Psychologically, participants experienced significantly better moods following a win, although this heightened positivity only lasted for 24 hours. This was briefer than the equivalent negative mood that followed a loss, which in some cases lasted for days.  Among the three games analysed were both legs of Leeds’ dramatic playoff semi-final loss to Derby. During the 4-2 second-leg defeat Leeds suffered at Elland Road, fans’ heart rates reached unhealthy levels, though blood pressure was never dangerously high.  So there you have it – football is officially good for you. Just don’t lose…  While you’re here, why not take advantage of our brilliant subscribers’ offer? Get 5 issues of the world’s greatest football magazine for £5 – the game’s greatest stories and finest journalism direct to your door for less than a pint in London. Cheers! NOW READ QUIZ! Can you name Wesley Sneijder’s 25 most frequent Netherlands team-mates? WATCH Premier League live stream 2019/20: how to watch every game from anywhere in the world New features you’d love on Topics Leeds United, Leeds, Championship Cellino to return as Leeds chairman Cellino appeals against Football League ban Cellino to sell Leeds to fan group Cellino ban suspended by Football League Tottenham concerned about losing Toby Alderweireld for nothing – so will welcome offers Tottenham do not need trophies to be deemed successful, says Ledley King What Celtic’s Champions League exit means for the club Manchester United demonstrate how desperate they are to loan out Alexis Sanchez Mo Salah plays keepy-uppy with young amputee footballers Neymar has chosen his preferred destination between Barcelona and Real Madrid – but it’s not that simple Jurgen Klopp decided to take a massive gamble in the transfer window – here’s why Juventus have made contact with Christian Eriksen – but there’s some good news for Tottenham 7 players who were persistently linked with Premier League moves… but never came The real ‘anti-Guardiola’? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reaping the rewards of Manchester United’s counter-attack

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