FC Bayern Munchen v FC Barcelona
Health, sport and wellbeing
How can sport help to reach specific health objectives through these approaches?
Read the sections on: the physical and mental health benefits of sport and physical activity; how sport tackles HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases; the practical implications for sport for HIV/AIDS prevention programmes; and the use of sport in public health campaigns.
One of the most widely-used definitions of health is that of the WHO, which defines health as: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This definition goes well beyond a condition of physical health but includes mental health and general well-being.
Physical activity and health
Sport and physical activity has long been used as a tool to improve mental, physical and social well-being.
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor associated with a large number of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Sport projects that specifically focus on health outcomes generally emphasise:
- The promotion of healthy lifestyle choices among children and young people as well as adults to combat inactivity;
- The use of sport as a tool to raise awareness on communicable diseases in developing countries, for example, through district or national health campaigns supported by athletes and sports competitions;
- The use of sport as a didactical tool to communicate vital health-related information to ‘at risk’ groups;
- The use of sport to mobilise hard-to-reach groups as part of large-scale health campaigns, including for example, communities with low population density;
- Sport is considered to contribute to achieving mental health objectives, including addressing depression and stress-related disorders.
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