The Relationship between Organised Recreational Activity and Mental Health
Gillian Street and Ray James: Mentally Healthy WA Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control, Curtin University
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A review of current literature indicates that people who participate in sports clubs and organised recreational activity enjoy better mental health, are more alert, and more resilient against the stresses of modern living. Participation in recreational groups and socially supported physical activity is shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Violent crime also decreases significantly when participation in community activities increases.1 More people undertake voluntary work for sports and physical recreation organisations in Australia (1.1 million) to support participation in sport and recreation activity, than are employed in the industry (83,008).2 Links between obesity, depression and physical inactivity are also briefly examined.
- Carcach C, Huntley C. Community Participation and Regional Crime. Canberra:
Australian Institute of Criminology; 2002.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview. In.
Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2006.