Regular team sports make adults healthier and happier – and luckier in love, study finds


Those on a team have more friends, a better work-life balance, are physically fitter and even attend more parties than those who don’t. And one in five non-athletes is single compared to only 13 percent of sports players, who are similarly more likely to be married.

Team members are naturally more sociable – attending three events or get-togethers a week, in comparison to just one for non-sports players.

And 22 percent of those surveyed for Old El Paso said playing team sports allows them to spend time with friends and family.

It also emerged 25 percent of club members rate their physical health as “excellent” and 28 percent feel the same about their mental health.

Football (40 percent), badminton (21 percent) and basketball (16 percent) were among the most popular team sports, with 17 percent of those who have attended a club even meeting someone they went on to marry via the sport.

A spokesman for Old El Paso, which commissioned the research to launch its Slam Dunk #MessFreeChallenge, said: “It’s clear sport brings people together and it’s not just our fitness that’s impacted.

“It’s great to see relationships, confidence and moods are more positive because of playing a team sport as well.”

The study also found almost two-thirds of sports team members are happy with their current work-life balance, while only 42 percent of others are.

And when it comes to fitness, those who are part of a club spend an hour and 23 minutes a week exercising, compared to those who don’t play a sport spending just under an hour – 58 minutes.

While those in a team have eight close friends — three of which they met through the sport — compared to an average of six pals for adults who aren’t part of a club.

This appears to boost confidence levels: sports members feel confident (31 percent), excited (29 percent) and keen (21 percent) when meeting new people.

But those who don’t play sports feel nervous (36 percent), self-conscious (34 percent) and shy (32 percent).

Half of those who are part of a club polled via OnePoll said it gives them something to look forward to, and 54 percent agreed the hobby has boosted their confidence.

Other benefits of being part of a club were found to be taking a break from a screen (27 percent), travelling to other places such as for “away” games (24 percent) and being sociable (38 percent).

Dancer, TV personality and Old El Paso ambassador Ashley Banjo said: “We’ve seen already this summer how sport can bring people together.

“It’s great to see basketball coming out top as one of the most sociable and popular team sports, and we’re inviting people to get behind the Slam Dunk #MessFreeChallenge on social media this summer to help donate Old El Paso products to UK families through FareShare.”



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