Happy body, happy mind with team sports

It's no secret that getting regular exercise is a crucial part of leading a balanced lifestyle. You could be filling up your Onya reusable shopping bag with as many healthy foods as you like, but exercise is needed to help us let off steam and keep our bodies in tip top shape. 

While we've looked at some great fitness related topics like keeping hydrated and barefoot running, new information from research company Roy Morgan suggests that there may be something in team sports which could benefit our brains, as well as our biceps. 

More play, less stress?

The study looked at the link between Australians who regularly participated in some sort of team sport and reported stress, anxiety or depression. The sports examined included soccer, AFL, netball and cricket. 

A startling 25 per cent of those surveyed aged 18 years or older acknowledged having experienced some form of stress over the past year, but this figure was lower for those who were found to participate in team sports.  

In addition, for those aged under 25 years the link between team players experiencing less stress, anxiety or depression appeared to be the strongest. While 31 per cent reported instances of stress, only 17 per cent were team sports players, with a similar pattern seen across anxiety and depression. 

Additionally, it was found that even across the board of age ranges, anxiety, depression and stress were less common for those who enjoyed team sports on regular basis.

Getting involved 

Angela Smith, who is the Group Account Director for Roy Morgan, was optimistic about the findings.

"As our latest findings show, people who regularly participate in team sports such as netball, soccer, AFL and cricket are much less likely to suffer from anxiety, stress and depression, the mental health conditions most commonly experienced by Australian adults.

"Whether it's due to the endorphin rush of high-impact exercise, the satisfaction of working towards a shared goal, the social support system that comes with being part of a team, or a combination of all these factors, the overall benefit of team sport on mental health is undeniable," concluded Ms Smith.

Getting involved in team sport doesn't have to a be a competitive affair, there are plenty of social clubs where like-minded individuals can come together to have a bit of fun at the end of the day. So what are you waiting for? Grab your BPA free drink bottle and get out there!