Published: 27 April 2017 at 12:00
Academic research shows potting the black is good for your grey matter
Playing snooker can benefit people’s mental health and can also improve knowledge, focus and concentration, academic research by Anglia Ruskin University has found.
Rohit Sagoo, of Anglia Ruskin University, used results from the Snooker Insight Survey, carried out by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) in April 2016 and completed by 1,029 ‘everyday’ snooker players – those that play the sport as a hobby or pastime.
Of the 492 who answered the question “Do you feel that playing snooker benefits any of the following aspects of your health?”, 257 claimed that they felt their mental health benefited. This compared to 111 who thought it helped improve their social health and 14 who said their physical health benefited.
Participants cited finding it easier to relax and stay agile both physical and mentally. More than half of the players, a total of 662, said they felt playing snooker had a positive impact on their day-to-day lives, including the honing of skills needed in other areas of life. Some of the examples given were the necessity of concentration, the ability to assess and manage risk, and the importance of patience.
Author of the study, Sagoo, said:
“This research has clearly outlined that when individuals play snooker, the game plays a vital role in maintaining or developing cognitive function.
“As a ‘mind sport’, these results back up the view that there is a significant degree of mental cognition involved with acquiring and developing knowledge of the game of snooker. The learning curve that the sport provides promotes positive mental health and wellbeing.
“Bearing in mind that this is the only study conducted that has specifically explored a broad definition of health in snooker, it would be beneficial for the ‘everyday snooker players’ and the WPBSA to take one step further and consider specific topics of research from the findings of the Snooker Insight Survey.”
The research, which can be found online at Psychreg Journal of Psychology, follows the decision of the WPBSA to sign up to the Mental Health Charter in April 2015.