GOING to the football leads to a happier life, a study claims.
Attending live sporting events makes people less lonely and more likely to feel that “life is worthwhile”, researchers found.
The study surveyed more than 7,000 Brits to see how watching games affected their levels of wellbeing.
Going to a match made people feel as satisfied as when they get a new job.
Dr Helen Keyes, of Anglia Ruskin University, said being in a stadium helps “forge group identity and belonging”, boosting your mood.
She said: “Ours is the first study to look at the benefits of attending any sporting event across an adult population.
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“Our findings could be useful for shaping future public health strategies, such as offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups.”
Watching a football match can boost your heart the same amount as a 90-minute brisk walk, according to previous studies.
The latest research, published in Frontiers in Public Health, surveyed adults aged 16 to 85 living in England to see how it affected their happiness.
They were asked if they had attended a live sporting event in the last year and also questions about how they ranked their wellbeing and loneliness.
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Live events covered by the survey ranged from free amateur events, like watching village sports teams, to Premier League football matches.
People who attended games ranked significantly higher for life satisfaction, while also feeling less isolated.
Dr Keyes said: “Watching live sport of all types provides many opportunities for social interaction, which in turn mitigates loneliness and boosts levels of wellbeing.”
The researchers highlighted previous studies linking life satisfaction to better health and longer lives.
They suggested health bosses should encourage people to go to games as well as playing them.
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