Playing high school sports leads to a healthy retirement

January 1, 2014


Athletic trainers can help address common basketball injuries.

For young men, participating in organized sports during high school and college may have some long-term benefits, including more awareness of sports injury prevention. A recent study found that men who engaged in regular physical activity while they were teens and young adults were more likely to be active when they reached their 70s.

After surveying more than 700 veterans who served in World War II without sustaining injuries, researchers found that the men who stated that they played varsity sports when they were younger had higher levels of activity once they reached an average age of 78. According to the researchers, former sports participation was the "single strongest predictor of later-life physical activity."

In addition to sports, the researchers also asked the veterans to rate their personalities, using terms such as "self-disciplined" and "fond of routine." However, the researchers stated that the self-reported personality tests had little influence on how active the men were later in life.

The researchers believe that these results signify the need for school-sponsored sports and physical education, despite the increasing budget cuts made to these programs. 

"These findings offer some compelling suggestions about how to target young adults at risk for long-term adult inactivity, chronic diseases and premature death," the researchers wrote. 

While playing sports may greatly impact one's health in the future, it can also improve one's body, mind and overall lifestyle in the present - especially for adolescents. One study looking at the link between young adults and sports found that those who regularly partook in sporting activities felt healthier and were more satisfied with their lives.

"Our study demonstrates the benefits of youth sports participation on self-rated health and life satisfaction among young youth at a critical juncture in adolescent development," stated the study's authors. 

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