BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health and the impact of Sports



Sport is a type of physical activity- defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles, requiring the expenditure of energy. Lack of physical activity has been identified as the fourth risk factor for worldwide mortality, causing approximately 3.2 million deaths. Being a type of physical activity, it is easy to see and understand the benefits of engaging in sports. Participation in sports is beneficial for all ages, gender and body types because it promotes physical, social and mental health through cardiovascular conditioning, team mindset and stress relief respectively. There are various kinds of sports and some remain more relevant or popular in some parts of the world, they include: Football, Basketball, Tennis, Badminton, Javelin, Shotput, Running, Jumping, skating, Handball, Soccer, Skiing, Bowling, Cycling, Swimming, Squash, Hockey, Volleyball, Boxing…. And much more!

Football and Swimming for example are very common in many parts of the world. These sports are also entertaining in nature and can serve many purposes in the form of recreation, leisure, revenue generation and entertainment. Typically, Football is a global sport played with a spherical ball between two opposing teams constituting of eleven players in each team. Football is played by over 250 million people in over 200 countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal post at each end of the field. The aim of football is to score goals by getting the ball into the opposing goal post and the team with the highest number of goals wins. Swimming on the other hand is an individual or team sport which involves the use of arms and legs to move the body through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water bodies such as rivers, seas and lakes. Swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, having distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley. The aim of swimming as a sport event is to win competitors by being the fastest swimmer in any given event, as well as break personal or world records.

A good number of scientific evidence support the positive effects of engaging in sports and physical activities as part of a healthy lifestyle. These positive effects of regular physical activity are particularly obvious in the enhancement of the functional capacity of older people, as well as the improvement of quality of life and independence. Sports can also help in the prevention of chronic diseases, including: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis. A report by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace states that young people can benefit from physical activity since it contributes to healthy bone development, efficient heart and lung function and improved motor skills or cognitive function. Physical activity can also help to prevent hip fractures among women and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.

Furthermore, studies have shown that sports have positive effects on depression and plays therapeutic roles in addressing a number of psychological disorders. Self-worth, including body image, has been linked to exercise and sports. Sport and physical activity can make substantial contributions to the well-being of people in developing countries as they are used in the treatment and rehabilitation of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Sports, from running track to playing football are exercises that act as stress reducers by causing the brain to release chemical neurotransmitters known as endorphins, which create euphoric feelings and reduce stress. Simply put, a mind focused on a game is not focused on worries.

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