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1-min read

Watching a Game of Football is Good for Health, Here's How

The study also found that watching their team win reduced the fans' blood pressure and gave them a 'psychological boost' that for some lasted an entire day.

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Updated:August 19, 2019, 3:54 PM IST
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Watching a Game of Football is Good for Health, Here's How
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Football fans rejoice! A new study now claims that watching football is actually good for the health. According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds, following analysis of 25 fans of the city's soccer team over three Championship games, they found that supporters' heart rates increased by around 64 per cent, with some peaking at 130 beats per minute (bpm). The 'workout' is equivalent to going on a brisk walk for an hour-and-a-half, the scientists claimed, a story in Daily Mail revealed.

Notably a resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm.

The study also found that watching their team win reduced the fans' blood pressure and gave them a 'psychological boost' that for some lasted an entire day.

However, on seeing one's club defeated, it had an opposite emotional effect with fans.

Speaking about the same, lead author of the study, Dr Andrea Utley said that it was clear fans were passionate about the game, with heart rate getting elevated to a similar level to that when going for a brisk walk.

The scientist further added that a goal for either team caused a brief increase in heart rate of an average of 20bpm from the match average.

According to researchers, supporting a team during a football match, gives one a moderate cardiovascular workout and depending on the result of the match, fans experience a psychological boost or slump.

Researchers analysed Leeds United fans aged between 20 and 62, during three key championship games with volunteers' heart rates being monitored before, after and during half time. They found that over the course of the three games, the fans' heart rates increased to a high of 130 bpm; 64 per cent more than at the start.

According to study authors, the thrill of not knowing the outcome of a match is thought to 'arouse' supporters to experience a level of 'good stress'.

'There is good stress and there is bad stress and there's a level of arousal which is actually good for you and the level of arousal that takes you over the edge,' Dr Utley said, adding that when the fans' club was defeated, their low mood could become 'quite severe'.

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