Participating in sports isn’t just good for children’s physical health but is great for their mental health as well. New research has found that children who are into sports are less likely to go through symptoms of depression and withdrawals when compared to those who do not take part in sports.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found that children who participated in one or fewer sports had a higher incidence of depressive and withdrawn symptoms and suggests that kids should play at least a couple or more sports to boost their mental health.

The lead researcher Punit Matta opines that two or more sports "may be the magic number” and has told Medscape news that they found a statistically significant difference between kids who engaged in two or more sports compared to those who played none or just one.

They hypothesized that motivating kids to take part in sports might be an effective early intervention for children who are at risk. This made them investigate the link between sports participation in kids and symptoms of mental health conditions.

"Originally, we were interested in examining the relationship between attention problems and physical activity," said the study’s co-author Andrea Spencer, "Then we realized that the Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL] dataset would allow us to look at this question for a much wider set of symptoms. And what we found was really interesting," she added.

Also, the researchers opine that kids who participated in more than one sport participated throughout the year rather than just for a particular season. Also, since they are always among their peer groups while playing, they start talking about sports and slowly start discussing things other than sports too. This can help improve their confidence. Also, since sports keep them busy, they are likely to not take part in substance abuse as well.

Also, the researchers opine that it will reduce the burden on insurance companies since they only have to pay for a child with initial symptoms to go into sports rather than wait until they grow up and need an intervention that could be more complicated and expensive.

children-310223_1280 Children playing sports Photo: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay