Swimming has significantly reduced the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain, according to new research. Almost half a million (492,000) British adults with mental health conditions, who swim, say that they have reduced the number of visits to a medical professional regarding their mental health as a result of swimming. The YouGov poll, commissioned by Swim England, also reveals that more than 490,000 people have reduced, or no longer take, medication for their mental health condition as a result of swimming.
This study comes as Swim England and 12 partners, including Nuffield Health, Places for People, Serco, Everyone Active and GLL, launch the #LoveSwimming ‘Escape’ campaign encouraging adults, especially women, to embrace the mental health benefits of swimming by using the pool to escape the stress of their busy lives. The industry-wide campaign centres on a film showing the extremes of fast-paced modern life, and the impact it can have on mental health, in contrast with the unique environment offered by swimming. The campaign also features women who have found swimming has had a positive impact on their own mental wellbeing.
The YouGov research shows that around 3.3 million British adults with mental health problems swim regularly, at least once every 2-3 weeks. When asked about the impact of swimming on their day-to-day life, 43 per cent of this group of regular swimmers say it makes them feel happier; 26 per cent are more motivated to complete daily tasks and 15 per cent believe life feels more manageable.