Active Lives - for the greater good
In our first two blog posts in the Active Lives series, we discussed the change in participation across a variety of sports; from the traditional to the modern and innovative. If you haven’t read these yet, you can do so here and here.
For this post we’re going to focus on the benefits of physical activity and what this means for brands and businesses investing in the active world.
First and foremost, in the Active Lives survey, Sport England have presented data that shows that the more activity people take part in the more likely they are to feel satisfied with their life. This is an important finding as satisfaction in life is an important determinant of mental health and wellbeing.
The topic of mental health and wellbeing is one of increasing awareness with people speaking out about their own experiences now more than ever before. Therefore, the role that physical activity can play in improving mental health is also becoming ever more important. By understanding the relationship between exercise and mental health we can provide people with a highly accessible mechanism for improving their wellbeing.
And to date the research is exceedingly positive. Physical activity has been positively associated with reduced anxiety and feelings of stress, reduced risk of depression, increased self-esteem and clearer thinking. A great example of this is parkrun. This article written by The Guardian presents data to show that 89% of people participating in parkrun have found that it has made them happier; something which is probably partially explained by the incredible sense of community and fun created by this mass participation event.
Whilst mental health is a relatively new field of research, the physical benefits of exercise are something which are communicated with confidence and the research continues to grow. The physical benefits of exercise include:
Reduce the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease
Lower the risk of early death by 30%
These benefits demonstrate that physical activity can be a powerful tool in the management of physical and mental health issues, so that brings us to the bigger, more challenging, question… how do we encourage people to get active and then more importantly stay active? These questions underpin every campaign that we create here at Limelight and investing in the Active World provides a platform on which we can talk to an engaged, unique, diverse, healthy population group. By encouraging physical activity we can not only stay aligned with our companies goals, but we can also work towards something much bigger and know that the work we undertake is for the greater good.