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BENEFITS OF SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Sport and physical activity serve profound benefits in the lives of many Canadians with regards to their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Sport has the ability to foster crucial life skills such as teamwork, leadership, decision making, and critical thinking skills. It also provides a sense of community, comfort, and allows one to build meaningful relationships.

Physical activity has many physiological benefits by helping maintain a healthy body weight. It plays a major role in the prevention of becoming overweight or obese which reduces the risk of adult obesity. Physical activity increases a person’s total energy expenditure. Staying physically active helps people stay at a relatively healthy weight or even lose weight. Most people that are physically active, are less likely to suffer from psychological and social health problems. It further positively correlates with muscle strength. It also decreases the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and also improves bone health. Regular exercise can help preserve bone mass. Physical inactivity and muscle weakness are associated with an increased risk of fractures when older.

Not only does physical activity enhance one’s physiological state but it also increases one’s psychological well-being. Physical activity promotes positive mental health. Physical activity can lead to improving one’s self-esteem and has potential benefits for reducing anxiety and depression. Routine physical activity also has cognitive and academic achievement benefits which allows them to perform better in school by increasing their memory, attention, and processing ability. It also improves self-efficacy and allows you to have greater faith and belief in yourself to accomplish greater goals.

The psychosocial benefits of physical activity are paramount. People who are physically active usually have larger social networks and are able to build their inter and intrapersonal skills when interacting with their peers. Regular interactions with friends or family through sport and physical activity can boost one’s mood and social satisfaction.

Physical activity and sport reduce chronic diseases and have outstanding positive health outcomes with regards to one’s physiological, psychological, and social well-being. Physical inactivity is the leading cause of death, chronic disease and reduced quality of life. By staying physically active, you will improve your health and wellness and ultimately have a greater quality of life.

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” — Plato (427–347 BC)

References:

Biddle, S. J. H., & Asare, M. (2011). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 886-895 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090185.

Canadian Social Trends: Kids’ Sports. (2020). Retrieved 22 July 2020, from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-008-x/2008001/article/10573-eng.htm.

Cooper, C., Barker, D., & Wickham, C. (1988). Physical activity, muscle strength, and calcium intake in fracture of the proximal femur in Britain. BMJ297(6661), 1443-1446. doi: 10.1136/bmj.297.6661.1443.

Hills AP, Andersen LB, Byrne NM. (2011) Physical activity and obesity in children. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;45:866-870.

Leblanc, A., Pescatello, L. S., Taylor, B. A., Capizzi, J. A., Clarkson, P. M., Michael White, C., & Thompson, P. D. (2015). Relationships between physical activity and muscular strength among healthy adults across the lifespan. SpringerPlus4, 557. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-1357-0.

Physical Activity Harvard Education. (2020). Retrieved 22 July 2020, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/physical-activity-and-obesity/.

Trussell, D., & McTeer, W. (2007). Children’s Sport Participation in Canada: Is it a Level Playing Field?. International Journal Of Canadian Studies, (35), 113. doi: 10.7202/040766ar.