Watching football IS good for you

Watching football IS good for you: Scientists discover fans have a 'cardio workout similar to a 90-minute brisk walk when their team scores a goal' Scientists from the University of Leeds analysed 25 fans of the city's soccer team Fans' heart rates rose by around 64%, some peaked at 130 beats per minute  Winning also lowered fans' blood pressure and gave them a 'psychological boost'

By Alexandra Thompson Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 12:05 BST, 14 August 2019 | Updated: 12:07 BST, 14 August 2019

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Watching football is good for you, scientists have discovered in a study that will have sports fans rejoicing.

Researchers from the University of Leeds analysed 25 fans of the city's soccer team over three Championship games.

They found the supporters' heart rates increased by around 64 per cent, with some peaking at 130 beats per minute (bpm). A 'normal' resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm.

This 'workout' is equivalent to going on a brisk walk for an hour-and-a-half, the scientists claimed.

Watching their team win also reduced the fans' blood pressure and gave them a 'psychological boost' that for some lasted all day.

However, seeing their club defeated had the opposite emotional effect with fans battling a 'slump' that one compared to 'a friend dying'.

Watching football could boost your heart rate as much as a brisk 90-minute walk (stock)

Watching football could boost your heart rate as much as a brisk 90-minute walk (stock) 

'It was clear fans were passionate about the game with heart rate elevated during the match to a similar level to that when going for a brisk walk (generally 20 per cent higher than resting heart rate),' lead author Dr Andrea Utley said.

'A goal for either team caused a brief increase in heart rate of an average of 20bpm from the match average.

'Ultimately supporting your team at a football match gives you a moderate cardiovascular workout and depending on the result of the match, a psychological boost or slump.'

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PROTECT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS? 

Many high-profile sport stars have spoke openly about battles with mental health.

Mental health in ex and current football players has been thrust into the spotlight following the death of Gary Speed and the issues faced by Stan Collymore.

Other examples, including Robert Enke, Frank Bruno and Marcus Trescothick, show

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