A study of 1,000 people who play sports and 1,000 who don’t revealed big differences between the two groups.

 

Those on a team have more friends, a better work-life balance, are physically fitter and even attend more parties than those who don’t.

 

And one in five non-athletes are single compared to only 13 per cent of sports players, who are similarly more likely to be married.

 

Team members are naturally more sociable – attending three events or get togethers a week, in comparison to just one for non-sports players.

 

And 22 per cent of those surveyed for Old El Paso said playing team sports allows them to spend time with friends and family.

 

It also emerged 25 per cent of club members rate their physical health as ‘excellent’ and 28 per cent feel the same about their mental health.

 

Football (40 per cent), badminton (21 per cent) and basketball (16 per cent) were among the most popular team sports with 17 per cent of those who have attended a club even meeting someone they went on to marry via the sport.

 

A spokesman for Old El Paso, which commissioned the research to launch its Slam Dunk #MessFreeChallenge said: “It’s clear sport brings people together and it’s not just our fitness that’s impacted.

 

“It’s great to see relationships, confidence and moods are more positive because of playing a team sport as well.”

 

The study also found almost two thirds of sports team members are happy with their current work-life balance, while only 42 per cent of others are.

 

And when it comes to fitness those who are part of a club spend an hour and 23

minutes a week exercising, compared to those who don’t play a sport spending just under an hour – 58 minutes.

 

While those on a team have eight close friends – three of which they met through the sport – compared to an average of six pals for adults who aren’t part of a club.

 

This appears to boost confidence levels, sports members feel confident (31 per cent), excited (29 per cent) and keen (21 per cent) when meeting new people.

 

But those who don’t play sports feel nervous (36 per cent), self-conscious (34 per cent) and shy (32 per cent).

 

Half of those who are part of a club polled via OnePoll said it gives them something to look forward to and 54 per cent agreed the hobby has boosted their confidence.

 

Other benefits of being part of a club were found to be taking a break from a screen (27 per cent), travelling to other places such as for ‘away’ games (24 per cent) and being sociable (38 per cent).

 

Dancer, TV personality and Old El Paso ambassador Ashley Banjo said: “We’ve seen already this summer how sport can bring people together.

 

“It’s great to see basketball coming out top as one of the most sociable and popular team sports and we’re inviting people to get behind the Slam Dunk #MessFreeChallenge on social media this summer to help donate Old El Paso products to UK families through FareShare.”

 

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