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Welcome back! Smart Brevityβ„’ count: 274 words ... 1 min.

1 big thing: Sports feed the soul

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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you're among the 1 in 3 American adults indulging in March Madness, don't feel guilty β€” it might be good for you.

  • What's happening: New research finds that attending live sporting events improves well-being and reduces feelings of loneliness, Axios' Kendall Baker writes.

πŸ’‘ The study used data from a nationwide survey of 7,209 adults, ages 16-85, living in England. The survey asked them about their lives, and included questions about their in-person sports viewing habits.

  • Researchers found that attending live sporting events β€” from free amateur events to professional Premier League matches β€” resulted in higher life satisfaction scores and lower loneliness scores.
  • The study also found that live sports attendance leads to an increase in people's sense that "life is worthwhile." The size of this increase is comparable to that of gaining employment.

🎟️ What to watch: The study's lead author, Dr. Helen Keyes of Anglia Ruskin University, says these findings "could be useful for shaping future public health strategies, such as offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups."

The bottom line: Playing sports is good for the body. Watching sports in person is good for the soul.

  • πŸ“¬ Do you have a standout memory of watching sports, live or on television? We want to hear about it! Send the story β€” and photos if you've got 'em β€” to [email protected].

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πŸ™οΈ Urban split-screen

Photo: Charlie G.

"This shot was taken while flying over Manhattan last summer," reader Charlie G. writes.

  • "I've always loved how it feels going from the city into Central Park. It's like stepping into a new, unexplored, nature-filled world."