5 Fast Facts: Activity and Community.

Getting active is important in keeping ourselves healthy, we all know this, but did you know that getting your community active has economic, education, and mental health benefits? The truth is that building an active community doesn’t just help bring people together, it chips away at some of the greatest challenges facing your towns.

Our team is constantly scouring the research and we’ve put together a quick list for you. Here are the “5 Studies on Active Living that Every Community Foundation Should Know About”. Drumroll please ….

5. Casual Play Options are Dwindling. 

Participation in casual play, recreational sports, and intramural activities are all on the decline over the past 5 years. The days of sandlot baseball and pickup games has given way to more highly-structured, more expensive, and more distant sports and activities. As the Aspen Institute points out, the result is that a large portion of less affluent or less athletic people lose access to sports entirely.   

4. Community Sports Engage Most Vulnerable Groups. 

Researchers in the International Journal of Equity in Health were surprised to find a strong tie between participation in community-based sports and social inclusion. Essentially, if community sports programs are strong, a community is less likely to see disenfranchisement and social inequity of marginalized groups. And it’s not because people are just healthier, but also the “processes of experiential learning among peers, incremental responsibility-taking and reflexivity.”

3. Active Living is Education. 

Sports and education have gone together since the days of the ancient Romans. But, history isn’t the only thing that pairs these seemingly unrelated aspects of life. Recent inquiries in the field of neuroscience are finding a closer link than we’d ever before thought. For example, a novel report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that kids and adolescents (4-18) with more physical activity had higher academic achievement and faster cognitive processing. 

2. “Sports = Happiness,” says science. 

When you unexpectedly lose your job you can feel completely gutted. But, did you know that the participation in sports creates 3X more happiness than losing your job takes away? Yep, researchers in the Journal of Economic Psychology were able to pinpoint exactly the effect that active play has on our lives and happiness and its stunning.  

1. Communities are built by sport. 

In their report, Sport & Belonging, the Community Foundations of Canada established the undeniable link between sports participation and community vibrancy.  As the team says, “It is hard to imagine a thriving community without sport. Its benefits to increase our sense of belonging, inclusion and opportunities to engage in our communities are numerous. For volunteers, athletes, coaches, families and fans, sport can be a place of strong connection and acceptance.”

So, what can we do with all this data?

Sure, we all want to be more active individuals and have a more active community, but wishing and wanting doesn’t make it so. Fortunately, the team at Playon Communities has been hard at work solving this problem so you don’t have to. Our program, and the technology behind it, gives your community instant access to physical activity and sports and brings you all closer together. 

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