Study Finds That Fantasy Football Negatively Affects Mental Health
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Up to a quarter of Fantasy Football players have admitted that playing the game has negatively affected their mental health, with the number doubling for those who are 'heavy users.'
More than seven million football fans play the Premier League's official Fantasy Football game, which means millions of users logging on every week to consider changes to their team in an effort to earn the most points.
Whilst there's plenty of fun to be had with the game, and no doubt banter in the group chat, and even graphs if you take things really seriously, it can also cause problems.
A new study, reported by the Guardian, has found that 24.6 of the 1995 people surveyed had seen their mental health drop due to playing the game.
Those players admitted they'd been hit by a 'mid low mood' at least from playing the game, and that the number had doubled for those considered 'heavy users.'
'Mid low mood' or greater affected 44% of people who spent 45 minutes playing, 60 minutes and 120 minutes thinking about the game per day.
Those who play it that often accounted for 20.8% of the surveyed, of which 34% said the game had caused them mild anxiety and 37% said the game had actually disrupted their lives.
"Fantasy football is unwinnable for the vast majority that play and it is possible that the more a person is invested the more negatively impacted they will be when they 'lose,' Dr Wilkin, the lead researcher in the study, said.
"Our study highlights the general positives that the game can bring, but also warns of the potential negatives, and provides justification for the idea that more should be done to monitor the amount of time being dedicated to playing fantasy football."
Football, and society in large, has done more in recent years to try and highlight mental health issues in men in particular, with the suicide rates hitting a two decade high in 2019.
Of those surveyed, across 96 countries, 96% were men and their average age was 33.
Fantasy Football can also be a tool for hilarious exchanges, with footballers just as interested in the game as fans, with even the Leicester City players even wanting to know who'd scored in a Manchester United game as soon as they'd come off the pitch.
Bruno Fernandes was also dismayed recently to find that one United fan didn't have him in their team, instead picking Mohamed Salah.
Sorry Bruno but you can't really blame him...