Holistic Health: Soccer’s Surprising Psych Benefits

Playing in a soccer league can boost more than just physical fitness, says new British research.  It can boost mental health, too.

A small study presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology annual meeting found that playing amateur football can help even those with serious mental health problems.  Four years after researchers from Staffordshire and Aston Universities set up a soccer league for men with mental health problems, they evaluated the health of the players. Results showed overall improvements to mental health, including an improved ability to deal with psychological problems such as depression. They also reported increased confidence and even improvements in their social lives.

Previous research from the University of Copenhagen showed that soccer was a mood booster good for overall health, boosting feelings of belonging and reducing anxiety and worry.

To find an adult recreational soccer league near you, check out your local parks and recreation department or Active.com

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About alternahealthgrrrl

I'm a writer, reporter and editor who has been on the health beat for over 15 years. I've worked on staff at Whole Living Magazine and More Magazine, where I conceived an investigative piece on unwarrented hysterectomies that earned a 2009 National Magazine Award nomination. Other publications I've worked at include Self, Vogue, and Lucky. View all posts by alternahealthgrrrl

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