How can sports providers contribute to residents’ mental health?

1. Why is exercise and exercise important for mental health?

Sports and exercise can help you become and maintain mental health. For example, it can contribute to increasing self-confidence and creating a positive self-image. and reduce psychological complaints, such as stress or feelings of depression (Andersen et al., 2019; Bailey et al., 2017; Ether et al., 2023; Amy et al., 2013; Rebar et al., 2015). Sport and exercising with others can also contribute to social behavior and a sense of belonging (Andersen et al., 2019; Ether et al., 2023; Amy et al., 2013).

Having mental health is not a given for everyone: 14 percent of adults in the Netherlands and 10 percent of young people (12-17 years) feel mentally unhealthy. People who feel mentally unhealthy exercise and exercise less than people who feel mentally healthy (Van Stamm et al., 2024).

Mental illness can be an (additional) reason for not exercising or exercising less. For example, people who feel mentally unhealthy have less energy, more stress, less self-confidence, and little motivation to exercise (Ooms et al., 2020). They therefore benefit less from the positive effects of sport and exercise on their mental health. So there are still opportunities here.

Also read this previous article by Molière on sports and mental health:

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Megan Vasquez

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