Jason McAteer- Sport is Integral to Better Mental Health in Men

With the Premier League kicking off this season new research highlights the vital role sport plays in supporting men with their mental health struggles

Football is more than just a game they say, and new research released as the new Premier League season kicks off, suggests that the ‘beautiful game’, and sport in general, could be an essential key to better mental health in the UK, specifically with men.

The study, found that for the community watching and playing sport are two of the key activities that help them switch off and avoid anxiety, stress and depression both in and out of work. In an industry heavily populated by males, this is a window into wider opinions of the male workforce in the UK.

44% of those surveyed said sport, be that watching or participating, is their key outlet when trying to wind down from work, with football, rugby, tennis and golf the most popular options; over a quarter (26%) said exercise plays a vital role too. This sporting stress relief becomes even more integral considering nearly half (47%) say it’s a continual struggle to switch off once their day is done.

The ‘always on’ culture that’s setting in to modern-day workplaces is playing a key role in the number of people suffering from anxiety (24%), depression (21%) and stress (23%) when outside of work. In fact, the average time they’re ‘uncontactable’ by work is just seven hours a week, with a worrying 16% saying they are alert to work pressures 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jason McAteer knows all too well the real-life impacts that not having a specific outlet for those suffering from mental health can have. He’s spoken openly about his struggles with depression and described himself ‘spiraling out of control’. Last year, he laid his story bare in the documentary ‘Through The Storm’, created in conjunction with his former club, Liverpool.