During big games, fans stress more than athletes

Marissa Paiano, special to WTOP.com

WASHINGTON — Athletes’ hearts aren’t the only ones dealing with stress during big games. Devoted fans are going through it, too, according to a new study from the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects.

Also in the DARE study, the hearts of devoted fans work harder during exciting moments in the game than the team members who are actually playing.

The players’ heart rates build gradually toward the game; fans experience a rush that causes a more rapid change during the game’s key moments, the study shows.

Sports fans wore devices to measure their heart rates at different locations while watching a weekend of Premier League football sponsored by Barclays.

When the team they rooted for scored a goal, an average supporters’ heart rate increased to 215.5 percent of its resting level. When their team conceded a goal, the average heart rate increased to 145.5 percent of its resting level.

Watch a promotional clip of the study, below.

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