Study: Team sports boost long-term happiness

A new study by the London School of Economics has found that team sports boost long-term happiness in addition to personal health.

Researchers from the school studied 459 athletes between 12 and 20 years of age, and those who participated in team sports reported higher overall satisfaction with their lives. Reasons were partly psychological, with team-sports athletes having a greater ability to deal with failure and overcome adversity. Teams also imparted feelings of belonging and social identity.

From The Telegraph:

One of the paper’s authors, Dr. Chia-Huei Wu, Assistant Professor of Management at LSE, said:  “When competing and succeeding in sport, this study shows that the social environment of the team is important in terms of overall life-satisfaction.

“We found that this can be explained by the social interaction and feelings of identity that comes from being a team member, which are not as present when an athlete pursues their own individual goals.

“There are important lessons in this study for those participating in sport at any level, as playing in a team environment will bring a range of benefits beyond the health benefits of exercise.

“Joining a team may bring feelings of belonging with your teammates, and being satisfied with your team may help you be satisfied with your life.”

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