New reports highlight significant social benefits of sports participation

Two reports from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) provide new evidence of the social impacts of engagement in sport and culture.

DCMS commissioned researchers from the London School of Economics (LSE) to undertake analysis of Understanding Society data.

The analysis looks at the impacts of engagement with sport and culture on four outcome measures:

  • health
  • education
  • employment
  • and economic productivity civic participation.

Where possible the impacts have been valued in monetary terms so that they can be used for cost-benefit analysis by policy-makers.

While researchers could not estimate cost savings directly, this analysis provides an important foundation for estimating the financial impact of culture and sport participation on health, education, employment and civic participation.

The researchers have produced two reports – one which focusses on financial benefits and savings, and one which focusses on measures of subjective wellbeing.

They found that a range of social impacts were significantly statistically associated with engagement in sport, including:

  • sports participants were 14.1% more likely to report good health than non-participants
  • unemployed people who participate in sports are 11% more likely than non-participants to have looked for a job in the last four weeks
  • people who participate in sport are 3% more likely to volunteer frequently
  • people who participate in sport gave £25 more per person in charitable donations over the last year

They also estimated that the increase in wellbeing associated with sport participation can be valued at £1,127 per person per year, or £94 per person per month.

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