Do soccer fans have better mental health?: What the science says

Increased sociability and a sense of belonging are some of the inherent benefits of crowds.

Football is probably the sport The most famous in the world, which brings together thousands of fans around the world. The The passion that comes with cheering for a team Or to choose your country almost like no other. Thus, a new study ensures that football fans have an extended Better mental health Of those who do not share this passion.

in this book Fans have more friends. (Spanish for “fans have more friends”), authors David Sikorjak and Ben Valenta analyzed fan behaviour of different sports, though with more focus on soccer. They found a greater sense of belonging and other benefits affecting mental health.

Mental benefits for football fans

In the authors’ studies, one of the biggest findings was related to feelings of loneliness: 61% of the US population report feelings of isolation and loneliness, but the levels of those who support a soccer club are much lower.

Football fans are more social than those who don’t like the sport.

The study concluded that football fans who are committed to the club are more sociable and outgoing, and even have more friends than fans who are less attached to the team or who are not interested in football.

Greater affiliation thanks to football

Another noteworthy detail in the study was the degree of affiliation among soccer fans. The more fans are passionate about sports, the more social activities they engage in; Therefore, the level of belongingness and mental well-being of this person is higher than that of a person who does not support football.

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On the other hand, other studies have found that the feeling generated by football is not only related to this sport, but can also be present in other activities, such as movies, cosplay, or video games.

Gaming is an activity that often also brings the same benefits as soccer.  Image: Riot Games.
Gaming is an activity that often also brings the same benefits as soccer. Image: Riot Games.

Professor of Film Studies at DePaul University, Paul BoothBeing part of a group regardless of the topic, he argues, is more than that Good for mental health not be a part of any.

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