University of Bristol: Surfing Enhances UK Health And Economy, New Study Reveals

University of Bristol: Surfing Enhances UK Health And Economy, New Study Reveals

The UK Surfing and Health Report, which surveyed over 1,300 individuals, established a positive correlation between frequent surfing and enhanced emotional, physical, and mental health.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 08:08 PM IST
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A collaborative study between the University of Bristol and The Wave, released on June 15, 2024, has unveiled significant benefits of surfing on both physical health and mental well-being. The UK Surfing and Health Report, which surveyed over 1,300 individuals, established a positive correlation between frequent surfing and enhanced emotional, physical, and mental health.

Health and economic impact of surfing

According to a Shiksha report, the findings reveal that surfing not only contributes to individual well-being but also has a economic impact. On average, a surfer spends over £2,000 annually on surfing-related activities, with more than 90% of these purchases being made within the UK. This underscores the sport's substantial contribution to the national economy.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, has also opened new avenues for further research. Ariane Gerami, a student who previously explored the mental health benefits of surfing in her 2022 Master's thesis, has secured funding for a 4-year PhD programme supported by The Wave.

Gerami expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “I’m delighted to have been awarded a University of Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarship to enable my PhD. Being able to further the research I started with my Master’s thesis is a dream come true. I can’t wait to work alongside The Wave to really get to the heart of how and why surfing impacts health and wellbeing.”

Dr. Joey Murphy, a Lecturer in Physical Activity and Public Health at the University of Bristol and lead researcher, highlighted the growing popularity of surfing in the UK. “Surfing is an increasingly popular activity in the UK, with over 160 clubs, surf schools, and groups in existence. This report highlights the range of reasons why people in the UK engage in surfing, as well as also highlighting the challenges faced in participation. The data clearly indicates that making surfing accessible to more people has the potential to support both population health and the UK economy.”

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