The secret to happiness? Swimming has all the answers, reveals new study

Tuesday 17th June 2014
Want to feel more content, less grumpy and finally get a good night’s sleep? Swimming could be the answer, a new study by British Gas SwimBritain conducted by Mindlab International reveals.

The report found that taking a regular dip at your local pool can make you feel happier as well as healthier, with participants reporting an increase of 35% in positivity during a major new four week study.

The results have also shown that the low impact sport is a tonic for everyday life, increasing levels of sleep quality (+40%) and energy levels (+51%) and fitness levels (+15%) during the course of the study.

Just a few laps a week can have an almost immediate effect, with those donning their swimsuits seeing an increase of 20% in their overall levels of wellbeing after just one week. These levels were maintained for the duration of the study, peaking again at 29% in the final week.

And it seems the soothing qualities of the water could help make the nation less grumpy; negative emotions decreased (-33%) at almost the same rate as positive emotions increased (+35%), suggesting that we could all be water babies at heart.

In fact, a few more laps in the pool could even be the secret to a good night’s sleep, with those swimming for more than 2.5 hours a week reporting that their levels of sleep quality improved by over double (60%).

Juliane Shulz, lead researcher on the project at Mindlab International commented:

“It’s commonly known swimming is one the best forms of exercise to keep fit but this report has taken a look at the further benefits that a couple of swimming sessions a week can have. It’s interesting to see that not only did the wellbeing of participants improve, but it happened almost immediately, which can provide some welcome relief to the stresses of everyday life.”

Olympic Swimmer, Becky Adlington added:

“Swimming is obviously close to my heart and it’s my goal to help the nation rediscover their love of the water, so this research is really good news for the sport, and something I’ve always known anyway!

“The fact that it has significant benefits both in body and mind is a great reason to get back in the pool and that’s why I am a big fan of British Gas SwimBritain, a fun relay challenge taking place this summer, which is encouraging as many people as possible to give themselves a swimming goal and see the benefits for themselves!”

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