With the Badminton World Championships 2017 currently taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, until Sunday 27 August, you might be feeling inspired to pick up a racquet and give the sport a try. Here we round up five reasons why getting out on the court can not only be fun, but also give your health a boost.
1. Burn calories
As the fastest racquet sport in the world badminton can definitely work up a sweat! And although you might not be as fast as two-time Olympic champion Lin "Super" Dan, a game of badminton will still get you moving and your heart rate up. Even a moderately intense workout can help prevent cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and stroke as well as reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes.
2. Reduce mortality risk
A large-scale study published last year looking at over 80,000 British adults also found that racquet sports such as badminton, tennis, and squash are some of the best for lowering risk of death, with those who enjoy a game on the court benefiting from a 47 percent reduction in their mortality risk than those who do no exercise at all.
3. Boost eye health
A 2013 study from Russia found that playing badminton could help boost eye health. The two-year study found that many children stopped wearing glasses within just two months after taking special badminton lessons three times a week. The findings, from the National Badminton Federation of Russia, even helped put the sports on the country's sports curriculum.
The research also found that the sport could be beneficial to adults who spend too much time working in front of a computer screen, and that badminton's effect in strengthening eye muscles showed some impressive results.
4. Get some fresh air
Like other racquet sports such as tennis, badminton is great to play outdoors in the summertime. Getting out into nature and soaking up some vitamin D can also bring additional health benefits, including improved mental health and a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and autism thanks to topping up vitamin D levels.
Just remember to also wear sunscreen and seek the shade when you need it to avoid a risk of sunburn, and possibly skin cancer.
5. Be more social
A badminton match with friends is a great way to socialize, which has health benefits of its own as well as making sport more fun. Spending time with friends can help to stave off loneliness, depression, reduce the risk of an early death, and help to reduce stress levels, which can also lead to further health problems.