With depression currently affecting 1 in 6 adults in the UK1, Harrod Sport are encouraging adults to get back into sports to support their mental wellbeing in the lead-up to World Mental Health Day on October 10th.
Research undertaken by Harrod Sport2 found that nearly 28% of UK adults didn't carry on a sport they played as a child because they either lost interest in it or couldn't accommodate the time with other commitments. 37% of men and women say that not feeling like they are fit enough puts them off participating in a sport.
This is a concerning trend, especially considering that exercise and sporting activities are proven to alleviate symptoms of poor mental health. Studies show that regular physical activity releases endorphins, enhancing mood and reducing anxiety and depression. Incorporating physical activity into daily life can significantly improve mental well-being.
Harrod also discovered that 22% of parents prioritise physical health benefits when encouraging their child's participation, whereas only 18% considered the mental health benefits of sports participation.
"World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to spotlight the vital role sports play in nurturing mental wellbeing," Says Kate Pasque, Sports Business Development Manager.
"With depression affecting so many adults in the UK, it's imperative that we promote activities that can significantly contribute to mental health improvement, as well as physical fitness.
"The dropout rate of adults that once participated in sports whilst at school is very high. It's important to acknowledge that finding time for sports can be a challenge for many adults, highlighting a need for accessible options that cater to varying fitness levels. It's also significant that while the majority of parents prioritise the physical health benefits of sports for their children, many don't consider the mental health advantages. Many parents it seems are unaware of the comprehensive benefits sports can provide for mental wellbeing.
"As we approach World Mental Health Day on October 10th, Harrod Sport encourages adults to re-engage with sports as a means to bolster their mental health."
For individuals across the UK, major sporting events serve as significant catalysts for re-engaging with sports. Positive outcomes for home nations can spark a surge in participation. This year, there is a wealth of opportunities for inspiration, including the ongoing the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, and the recent Women's World Cup where the English Lioness' impressed by making it all the way to the final.
According to the study conducted by Harrod Sport, other prominent motivations for involvement in sports encompass achieving fitness objectives (28%), deriving sheer enjoyment from participation (22%), and valuing the social interactions it offers (20%).
Harrod Sport is the UK's leading manufacturer of sports ground equipment and netting, and proud sponsors of England Hockey, England Netball and Badmington England. More information about Harrod Sport can be found here: https://www.harrodsport.com/about.
Notes to editors
1 Depression Statistics UK - https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/depression-statistics/#1
2 Survey results were generated by market research company 3GEM in collaboration with Harrod Sport. These findings were taken from a nationally representative survey of 1,000 UK adults in March 2022.
About Harrod Sport
Established in 1954, Harrod Sport is the UK's leading sports manufacturer of goals, posts and nets, supplying some of the world's largest sporting events and stadiums.
Although being active has a positive impact on mental health, it is always encouraged to talk to a member of family or a close friend about how you are feeling.
If you feel anxious or depressed and need to talk to somebody, here are some of the UK's mental health helplines:
Anxiety UK – 03444 775 775 (Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:30pm) www.anxietyuk.org.uk
CALM – 0800 58 58 58 (Daily, 5pm – Midnight) www.thecalmzone.net
Samaritans - 116 123 (Monday - Sunday 24hrs a day) https://www.samaritans.org/