ASICS proves the uplifting power of tennis to relieve stress and improve mental wellbeing

A unique experiment conducted by ASICS ahead of Roland Garros has demonstrated that playing just 15 minutes of tennis is enough to reduce stress levels by more than a third (35 per cent).

The mental state of Parisians was measured before and after playing and showed that over half (51 per cent) of participants felt more relaxed, and 20 per cent felt happier.

The Uplift Court itself was inspired by recent research which identified 65 per cent of Parisians felt stressed, with the biggest stresses cited including: traffic (61 per cent), air pollution (56 per cent), public transport (48 per cent), lack of parking spaces (42 per cent) and work (39 per cent). These stress points came to life as targets on a dedicated ‘stress wall’, giving Parisians the opportunity to “play their stress away” with tennis in a live experiment.

World number one, Iga Świątek who joined the ASICS’ Uplift Court, said: “Being on court playing tennis is where I feel most comfortable. It takes me back to when I was young, hitting a ball and feeling at my happiest, which is a great experience as a head into this week. So, to see all these people come out and play with us at ASICS is great. You can see that people feel freer and are literally letting go off their stresses out on court.”

Dr. Brendon Stubbs added: “This novel experiment advances our understanding of the power of tennis to improve stress and positive feelings. The evidence of research prior to this was poor and the study design of this experiment provides a robust illustration of the positive impact tennis can have on people’s stress and mental health from a short period of time. Given the high levels of stress noted in ASICS research, the potential for tennis to play an important role in addressing this is very timely and the findings are important.”

Uplift Court participants were asked to rate their perceived levels of stress over the last month using a validated scale before heading out on court. Participants then played tennis for 15 minutes and nine seconds, a nod to ASICS Global State of Mind Index findings, before completing an updated version of the ‘stress test’ to capture their stress and emotional health post game.

Gary Raucher Executive Vice President, ASICS EMEA, said: “At ASICS, we are on a mission to help people experience the benefits of movement on the mind. Uplift Court provided a fun release for the people of Paris but was also underpinned by data. This experiment confirmed what we already believed, that picking up a tennis racket and playing for just 15 minutes and nine seconds can reduce stress and make people feel happier. We hope more people in Paris and around the world will turn to tennis to uplift their mind and improve their mental wellbeing.”

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