Sport and recreation plays a pivotal role in creating happier communities.
The pursuit of happiness
Happiness. There’s plenty of it going around – in local swimming pools, at gyms, on the street and in parks.
Most people smile when they achieve a challenging physical goal; whether it’s the challenge of a fun run, overcoming their fear of abseiling, or winning at the Olympics. They’re happy.
Sport and recreation has that effect. It releases the feel-good endorphins. It relieves stress by taking our minds away from whatever is bugging us. Sport contributes to our health in a positive way. When we are healthy we feel good about ourselves. We’re happy.
Research shows “individuals living in a county with greater access to sports facilities are more likely to participate in physical activity and also report higher life satisfaction” (Huang and Humphrey, 2012).
Huang H, Humphrey R (2012). Sports participation and happiness: Evidence from US microdata. Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 33, Issue 4, p 776–793.