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The environmental impacts and wellbeing benefits of sport: Assessing spectator and participant dominated sports in England

Dosumu, Adekunle A (2016) The environmental impacts and wellbeing benefits of sport: Assessing spectator and participant dominated sports in England. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste and transportation are of environmental concern. Globally, every year, waste contributes an estimated 5% and transport approximately 23% of the total anthropogenic GHG emissions. Sport contributes to GHG emissions by spectators and participants travelling to/from sporting venues and generating waste. Whilst a small reduction in an individual’s travel and waste may be perceived as having negligible impact, if these are aggregated over a population, the resultant GHG emissions can be significant. Although there is scientific evidence of the environmental impact of major sporting events there is limited research on it at the grassroots level. In addition watching and participating in sport results in wellbeing benefits such as improved self-esteem and mood. This research quantitatively examined both the environmental impacts and wellbeing benefits of sport at the grassroots level focusing on both spectator-dominated and participant-dominated sports in England. Three studies were conducted examining spectator-dominated sport: 1) GHG emissions relating to travel to and from football games; 2) GHG emissions relating to waste at football games and 3) the effects of watching football on mental wellbeing. Two further studies were also conducted assessing participant-dominated sport: 4) GHG emissions from travel to and from running location; and the effects of sport (running) on mental wellbeing and connection with nature and 5) the effects of running outdoors on mental wellbeing (pre and post study). The research showed that both spectators and participants’ sport considerably generated GHG emissions from travel and waste when extrapolated nationally. However, engaging in spectator-dominated or participant-dominated sports resulted in wellbeing benefits. Watching football resulted in better mental wellbeing, while running particularly outdoors resulted in improvements in wellbeing such as improved mood and increase in self-esteem after participating in sport. This research suggests that participating in sport can initiate a positive change in a person’s relationship with the natural world. These findings on the environmental impact and wellbeing benefits of both spectator-dominated and participant-dominated sports have implications for individuals, private sectors, sporting organisations, policy makers and government authorities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Adekunle Dosumu
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2016 12:16
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2016 12:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16441

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