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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Sport will always be integrated into our lives

The importance of physical activity and sports has been emphasized increasingly over the last few years. It is known that sports can be used for all kinds of different reasons. Be it for health purposes, therapeutic reasons, family bonding, personality building or just plain entertainment, different sports form a big part of people’s lives. There are many science-backed pieces of research that share the value of sports and its effect on happiness. Children who practice sports, for instance, are said to be happier because they have more confidence and a higher self-esteem. Moreover, it is also mentioned that having conversations about sports in social situations makes people happier in general because they have more to relate on. Sports has a very direct effect on physical health as well. Playing team sports allows people to get around 75 minutes of intense workout which helps reduce the possibility of many diseases. Sports is also extremely entertaining, it works as a great distraction for people with high stress, and it allows one to make better bonds with others as well, making it socially beneficial.

Much of the psychological research has proven that physical activity of any kind can improve one’s mood. This is even more emphasized while practicing sports, especially team sports, as it helps build a foundation of trust, discipline, and collaboration. According to a parental survey conducted by ESPN, for children age 9-13, around 84% believe that participation in sports has influenced their child’s grades for the better. Some studies have also shown that playing sports can reduce stress levels significantly. Physical activity in general also releases endorphins, which are “feel-good” chemicals, moreover, endorphins also help in reducing pain. Sports also allow people to be more self-confident which is always a way to increase happiness and performance in day-to-day life. Some research even highlights how playing sports reduces the chances of addictions and drug abuse, which is an exceptional mental health benefit altogether.

Sports are also an effective way to bond with people in general. It is said that even sports fans are likely to be happier than people who do not follow sports. Being a fan also allows you to build better connections. Moreover, social skills are usually emphasized to people who practice sports. For instance, sports players are much easier to communicate to as communication is a large factor in the building of team and strategies. It also teaches both leadership and collaboration skills whereby most people learn to understand social situations and the way in which to handle them. Some studies even confirm that sports events can help strengthen and regenerate social bonding. The recent Fifa World Cup 2018 match between South Korea and Germany was a strong example of social connection whereby many Mexican fans supported the South Korean team as it would allow them to qualify further. This helped strengthen the connection between South Korean and Mexican fans. A post by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Mexico also showcased the manner in which cultural differences reduce through sports as South Korea went on to congratulate Mexico on its qualification.

Finally, watching sports is an activity which is fun and entertaining, but as people watch more sports the betting industry is also in growth. It is a stress relief and a manner for one to stay distracted. Be it the passion Indian people have while watching the IPL cricket matches or the Football craze around the world, sports is very important in the entertainment industry. Even on social media one can clearly see the value of sports as people speak of it and the number of hashtags that trend due to it. For example, #WorldCup2018 is currently trending on Twitter, which already showcases the digital influence of sports. Moreover, watching sports is almost a habit to most, as research showed that over 112 million people watched the Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. With reason, the sports market amounts to $60 Billion in North America alone. Sports, however, extend beyond watching and playing to even betting and actually getting engaged on a financial level. The increasing amount of betting services online is definitely paradise for a bookmaker. Research even shows that the sports betting market will increase by 8.2 % in the next four years. In a way, sports really are influencing everyone’s life.

It should be noted that all these benefits of sports are still not enough to keep the mental health of many commercial athletes safe. A lot of news and recent reports have shown a large number of athletes undergoing depression and other mental health problems. Therefore, it is safe to assume that although sports is a stress buster, one must still take good care of their surroundings and the people they allow to enter in their life. It should also be noted that one must not allow sports or any other entertainment to dictate their lives. Sports is healthy and beneficial as most studies have proven, therefore, a healthy balance of it in one’s life is important. Over the years, as digital media grows probably so will sports. Sports influencing people’s life will keep changing in the manner in which it keep innovating through the years.



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