Watching sports IS good for you. Scientists discover fans get a ‘cardio workout similar to a 90-minute brisk walk’


Scientists have discovered something in a study that will delight sports fans everywhere!

Leeds University researched 25 soccer fans for 3 Championship games.

It found that the cardiac rates of the supporters increased by approximately 64 percent, with a peak at 130 beats a minute. A’ normal’ heart rate during rest varies from 60 to 100 bpm.

This “training” means that the researchers claimed it is the same as going for a walk for an hour and a half.

Seeing your team win decreased blood pressure for the fans and gave them a’ psychological boost’ which lasted the whole day for some.



However, if your club is defeated it had the opposite effect resulting in fans struggling with a ‘slump’ that compared to a ‘friend dying.’

It was clear that fans had a passion for the match with a higher heart rate than a fast walk, usually 20% above a resting heart rate,’ said lead author Dr Andrea Utley.

Each team’s goal resulted in a brief heart rate increase from the average match of average by 20 bpm.

The researchers analyzed Leeds United fans, aged 20-62, in last season’s three important games during Championship. “Ultimately supporting your team in the soccer match gives you a moderate cardiovascular workout and psychological boost or slump, depending on the match result.

Before and after each match, as well as half time, their heart rates were monitored.

The cardiovascular rates of fans increased to 130 bpm in the course of the three games, up 64% from the start.

A Leeds goal raised its heart rate by an average of 27% while its opponents ‘ score was up 22%.

Victorious fans also saw their blood pressure drop during the match, while “losers” had temporary high blood pressure after the match.

When it came to the emotions of the fans, seeing their team win led to an ‘absolute high’ which lasted all day for some people.

The thrill of not knowing how the game would go is thought to ‘arouse’ the fans which is an experience of  ‘good stress.’

‘There is good stress and there is bad stress and there’s a level of arousal which is actually good for you and the level of arousal that takes you over the edge,’ according to Dr. Utley.

Although people think you it takes you over the edge when watching soccer, it doesn’t.

‘We found it just kept people at a good level of arousal.’ However, when the fans’ club was defeated, their low mood could become ‘quite severe’.

One of them said his team was losing felt like a “low,” and the other admitted that it was their first thought the day after.

‘That disappointment of Friday meant the first thing I thought of when I woke up on Saturday morning was, “I don’t believe we lost that game”,’ according to the fan.

‘That sort of sets the mood for the rest of that morning until you can pull yourself out of it.’ Another even went as far as saying the loss is comparable to a ‘friend dying’.

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