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The benefits of sports

The benefits of sports on mental health

Research has shown that regular exercise can have a profound impact on low moods and stress, as well as significantly improving memory and sleeping patterns. A study carried out by Harvard T.H. Chan, found that running for 15 minutes a day, or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. Further to this, research from The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK found a 20-30% reduction in depression in those who participate in physical activity daily.


We have long known that physical activity boosts dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the brain, which all add up to help improve focus, attention, motivation and mood. It’s worth ensuring that the mental health support network in your establishment is looking into sports as a method to combat student depression, anxiety and other mental health related issues.

Social integration and sports

Because there ain’t no ‘I’ in team! Group sports are a great opportunity for students to learn about cooperation and team work, all whilst building confidence. For some, this can help form a positive sense of identity as part of a team which can boost self-esteem and self-confidence.


Robert Blendon, a Harvard professor suggests that "the organised way you participate in sports — the leadership and fellowship — is actually preparing people not only for the next game but for much broader roles in life." Team work, communication and comradeship are all by-products of the beautiful game, valuable skills that all students will take with them into later life.

Concentration and academic performance

Engaging with sports has the ability to sharpen the mental skills of students. Research from BMJ suggests engaging in physical activity, particularly team focused sports, can see students develop critical thinking, strategic planning and logic skills.

Importance at a young age

Encouraging physical activity at a young age is vital. Regular exercise can help to build and maintain healthy bones and muscles, which is incredibly important whilst children’s bodies are in the developing stage. It’s suggested that ensuring children engage with PE from a young age will prepare children to be physically and mentally active later in life.

The importance of physical education

Ask us, and we think physical education is pretty important! From international tours, to top tips for our PE teachers. What are you waiting for? No time like the present to get moving!
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