Sport’s compelling case for Welsh happiness

Sport could hold the key to a happier Welsh nation a survey has found.

In Wales, adults who regularly participate in sport (three or more times a week) are more likely to say they have 'energy to spare' or 'feel confident' according to the national *Sport and Active Lifestyles data.

Based on responses of 10,000 adults in Wales, participation in sport is significantly associated with better physical health and mental well-being, feeling satisfied with life, reduced anxiety, happiness and people feeling satisfied with their work situation.

**Findings include:

  • Adults that participate in sport '3 or more times per week' are1.8xmore likely to say they have 'energy to spare' ('often' or 'all of the time').
  • Adults that participate in sport '3 or more times per week' are1.5xmore likely to say they 'feel cheerful' ('often' or 'all of the time').
  • Adults that participate in sport '3 or more times per week' are1.5xmore likely to say they 'feel good about themselves'('often' or 'all of the time').
  • Adults that participate in sport '3 or more times per week' are1.4xmore likely to say they 'feel optimistic' ('often' or 'all of the time').
  • Adults that participate in sport '3 or more times per week' are1.4xmore likely to say they 'feel confident ('often' or 'all of the time').

Happiness Day

The statistics are the first time sport, public health and other national data have been collected side-by-side as part of the National Survey for Wales.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, Wales often lags behind the rest of the UK in term of levels of happiness.

It comes as Wales gets behind Welsh Happiness Day 2018. The day will see organisations from across Wales getting involved to make small changes to make their staff smile.

"Those of us who love sport, and participate regularly, know the huge positive difference it makes to our lives,"said Sport Wales Chief Executive Sarah Powell.

"Everyone in Wales should have the opportunity to benefit in the same way.What we need to focus on now is breaking down the barriers to sport and physical recreation for those people that are not yet benefiting. Once we start tackling those issues then we can start to unlock a really healthy future for Wales.

"That's why we're asking the people of Wales to help us shape Welsh sport and tell us exactly what is needed to get all our communities more active.

"We need to work with people to remove the barriers to participation and better understand some of the motivating factors to get involved, such as time, cost and social benefits."

Join the conversation on the future of Welsh sport at www.sport.wales/mywelshsport.

For more Sport and Active Lifestyles data visit www.sport.wales.

*The Sport and Active Lifestyles data is part of the new National Survey for Wales, which replaces the Welsh Health Survey, the Arts in Wales Survey, the Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey and the Active Adults Survey.

The National Survey for Wales is a face-to-face survey of over 10,000 randomly-selected adults aged 16 and over, carried out across Wales.

**The figures above are based on an analysis that accounts for variations in well-being associated with age, gender and disability.