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WELLNESS

Can Obsession With Sports Lead To Heart Failure?

Dude, chill. It's just a game.

Don’t we all know that one guy that takes sports a little too seriously? I’m talking about the guy who will literally miss family outings just to watch a baseball game. Think of the character Jimmy Fallon plays in the movie Fever Pitch. Look, I get it. I love sports too, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed in the world of fandom. Furthermore, there are actually health consequences associated with being too obsessed with sports.

Effects of Sports on Health

Man clutching chest in pain
Man clutching chest in pain

The first and most notable health consequence has to do with the human heart. According to a study by Robert Kloner, a cardiology professor at the University of Southern California, after the 2008 Super Bowl heart-related deaths shot up 20 percent in the greater Boston area. This study took place in the eight days after Super Bowl 42 in which the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants. This study is also applicable when the favored team wins. In 2009 doctors in Pittsburgh noted that there were 25 percent fewer heart-related deaths following the Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. This study also ran for eight days after the game.

Sporting may seem like all fun and games but to most human’s heart problems are not worth watching their favorite team win a match. C’mon dude there are much more important things in life than a game! Regardless of the final outcome it’s more important to be alive and be able to sniff the fresh air than to watch Cristiano Ronaldo score a game winning goal.

When Fandom Becomes Obsession

Oregon State Professor Colleen Bee stated that “some fans may not be consuming sports, but in fact sports are consuming them.” In layman’s terms this means that sports can be apart of a person’s life but they should definitely not be an individual’s entire life. If a fan wakes up in the morning and listens to a sports podcast, then goes to the office to discuss sports with co-workers, then goes to the local pub to watch the game, and finally watches the re-cap of the game after, that’s officially a problem. In fact, this can be a form of escapism and escapism is never beneficial in any aspect of life.

If this sounds like apart of your day, it’s probably time to get a life outside of sports. Don’t you have a partner, a family, a job, or literally anything else to do? On top of that nobody likes the guy who acts like they know everything about sports. Even casual fans will look down upon this dude.

Watch What You Eat

Man sitting in front of table with fast food
Man sitting in front of table with fast food

Another health consequence associated with sports is that people intake more saturated fats while watching sporting events. A study done by Yann Cornil and Pierre Chandon and published in Psychological Science, stated that saturated fat intake raised by 16 percent for fans who’s favorite NFL team lost a game. On the other side of the tracks, saturated fat intake went down by 9 percent when their favorite squad won the match. One way to avoid this, is to write down life goals before the game as a reminder to not intake extra calories…Or, you know, not be an absolute lunatic about sports and find some sort of balance in life.

Now to be fair there are some benefits to watching sports. One of the most notable benefits is definitely the comradery that fans share when they root for the same club. It is an absolutely awesome experience to go out to a bar, throw back some drinks, and tribal yell in unison at the TV. Furthermore, connecting via sporting events can sometimes translate into deeper business connections, and more importantly friendship.

Three men watching TV in sports bar
Three men watching TV in sports bar

However, the big key here is to go out with friends and have a reasonable amount of drinks. Nobody, and I truly mean nobody, wants to see a blacked out, overweight shirtless dude with nacho cheese dripping down his face screaming in the streets. This is not only totally unnecessary but it is embarrassing for all parties involved, not just the drunk homie. Plus, wouldn’t a fan actually like to remember the game they just watched?

Sports can be a great outlet and a great way to make friends. However, please remember to watch sports in moderation and don’t overdo it. This is coming from a guy myself who doesn’t remember getting kicked out of a bar in front of his parents after the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. Luckily for myself and society as a whole, I have learned from my own mistakes.

RELATED: What You Can Do To Stop Wasting Your Life

What do you think about the physical and psychological effects of sports? Let us know down in the comments.

Nicholas Bartlett
My Name is Nicholas Bartlett and I am a recent graduate of the Edward R Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University. I live in the greater Seattle area and I am an assistant coach for three basketball teams. I have always had a passion for sports ever since I was a little kid. I believe that sports are the great equalizer in life. Furthermore, I believe many life lessons can be taught through sports. Sports are bigger than the actual game, it is the comradery, passion, intensity, and togetherness that ignites my love for sports. Beyond sports I love to read and write, I consider myself a fringe-dweller in society and I usually look at things differently than other people (or as I like to call them spirits.)

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