Studies have already found that exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and team sports have been linked with things like higher life satisfaction, lower stress levels, and better memory.
Now that it’s September, kids will be back to waking up early, wolfing down their breakfasts and filing onto yellow buses to be shuttled off to school. And though this transition can be exciting for some kids, for others, it can provoke feelings of stress and anxiety.
New research from the University of British Columbia suggests a way to help.
A study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that students who participated in team-based extracurricular activities reported positive mental health indicators, like a stronger sense of optimism, feelings of belonging, and more satisfaction with life.
The study’s research team surveyed 10,000 B.C. students in Grade 4, and then revisited them in Grade 7, and questioned them about their mental wellbeing, their relationships with others, and how they spent their time out of class.