Watching England play football is rarely a relaxing experience, but a dementia expert claims that watching football could be good for your mental wellbeing.
Professor Alistair Burns even says that elderly people might benefit from watching football. Burns also says that watching old replays can help to keep the brain active and maintain memory.
Burns, who is NHS England’s clinical director for dementia, said:
Although fans may not feel it this week, football can be good for your nerves
The beautiful game really can help your mind and body. As well as being great physical exercise, there is a positive link between watching classic football matches and keeping the mind active.
According to Burns, this has something to do with our “emotional memory”, which is thought to be more powerful than factual memory. Following this logic, if a person can remember iconic sporting moments that stirred their emotions at the time, it may strengthen brain activity.
In the UK, 850,000 people are living with dementia. Sporting Memories Foundation, a charity which seeks to tackle dementia, told the Metro:
Sport unites communities and generations, it stirs the soul and can reawaken powerful emotions.
Every week we witness the positive impact recalling golden moments of great sporting moments has on the physical and mental wellbeing of our group members, many of whom live with dementia.
These great moments can bring back wonderful, positive memories that can be used to unite generations to tackle three of the biggest challenges facing an ageing population; dementia, depression and loneliness.