Here at Execview, we are proud to sponsor the Woking Wolves Disability Football for All team.
For many, football is so much more than just a game: you may not know that team sports can have huge physical health, mental health and social benefits.
Football is an aerobic activity and as such, reduces your risk of heart disease: the biggest cause of death in the world. It also reduces your chances of having a stroke or getting type 2 diabetes. Playing regularly improves cardiovascular health and causes endurance to increase over time.
Because it combines different activities like running, walking, sprinting and kicking, football also brings unique physical benefits like: increased stamina, improving general cardiovascular health, reducing body fat, improving muscle strength and tone, increasing bone strength and improving coordination.
It is said that people have three basic psychological needs:
- Competence: the perception that you have the ability to do something
- Relatedness: the feeling that you belong and are around people similar to yourself
- Autonomy: the feeling that you have control and can make your own decisions & choices
Playing team sports like football can help meet all these needs and therefore improve well-being. Being able to play football and improving at it increases sense of competence and autonomy, and playing within a team increases sense of relatedness.
In addition to this, playing football can:
- Improve concentration and decision-making
- Improve sleep quality
- Provide a stress release. Playing football can reduce adrenaline and stimulate hormones like serotonin which make people feel more happy and relaxed
All of these in turn have mental health benefits.
Football offers these benefits to everyone, but may be particularly beneficial to anyone with learning disabilities, mental health or behavioural difficulties. Research has shown football can offer people with learning disabilities huge psychosocial benefits that even outweigh the physical benefits of football playing. The same study also found that it gave players a feeling of fun and belonging.
Research (Devine et al, 2017) showed that all players discussed certain barriers they faced in order to play football regularly, but despite these barriers, players reported positive effects like feelings of empowerment in their general lives, improved feelings of self-worth, feelings of social inclusion, better health and improved attitudes towards their disability.
Football is more than just a game; it can have profound mental and physical health benefits. The mental health foundation even state that: “Comparative studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication or psychotherapy” because of the natural chemicals like adrenaline and serotonin it releases which relieves stress and provides relaxation. That is why we are very proud of the Woking Wolves Disability Football For All team and everything they do. To find out more about this hard-working and dedicated team, please click here.