Sports are an integral part of American life, especially among youth. In a recent nationwide survey, conducted by the National Sports League, it was revealed that almost half of all Americans (ages 18 and above) consider sports to be an important component of their daily lives. This is surprising, given the fact that the average age of a person in America today is well above the national average of around 50 years old. The results of this survey were also based on an understanding of the various kinds of sports that people are engaging in and what they think about the professional sport leagues.
According to the survey, most people think that sports somehow influence people’s behavior. This may not be true. It definitely seems to be true, however, that sports have the potential to transform an individual’s life for the better. Sports can improve one’s confidence and level of self-esteem and can keep people from succumbing to the temptations of smoking, drinking, overeating, or using illegal drugs. Moreover, sports can reduce the number of heart attacks and high blood pressure brought about by unhealthy lifestyles.
In America, the National Football League (NFL) has been playing a big role in boosting the economy of cities in which its teams play. Many Americans live in close proximity to NFL stadiums, and the teams bring in large sums of money to local economies through ticket sales, television contracts, and merchandise. Indeed, many Americans find it hard to believe that there could be any correlation between being glued to a television set or sitting down in front of a computer and the likelihood of incurring serious health conditions.
In spite of the widespread appeal of sports, Americans do not seem to be following the sports very closely. About a quarter (27.3%) of respondents said that they seldom, if ever, follow sports events on television or live in a stadium. These people are usually working professionals who lead sedentary lifestyles. Another group that is frequently ignored is the teenager; only 6% of high school students said they follow sports events on a regular basis.
Sports also have a negative effect on the health of people who are engaged in them. Regular participation in sports is associated with an increased chance of osteoporosis and bone fractures. It can lead to heart attacks and stroke as well. There is also evidence that high sports participants engage in more joint injuries than people who do not engage in athletic activities.
Finally, the cost of sports can be quite high. Tickets and uniforms can run up to several hundred dollars per game. Equipment like helmets and padding can also be costly, especially if it is custom made. High schools and colleges also spend significant sums on sports facilities, such as tennis courts and basketball courts.