In March 2012, the ITF established a specific taskforce to discuss the possibilities that tennis could be positioned as 'a model sport for life'.
The main purpose of the Health Benefits of Tennis taskforce is to position tennis as the sport for a lifetime, highlighting the health, wellbeing and cognitive performance benefits of lifetime participation in tennis. The taskforce has some broad goals which include:
- Developing evidence-based research that highlights how tennis improves health, wellbeing and cognitive performance and why it should be the physical activity of choice.
- Facilitating discussions and advocacy to improve the standing of tennis as the physical activity suitable for the widest range of population groups around the world.
- Providing national tennis associations with the resources (research, marketing materials, etc.) necessary to approach private or governmental funding agencies and so attract significant additional funding to the sport of tennis).
The purpose of this document is to provide a representative review of literature focused on the benefits of physical activity with specific comments that relate the data to tennis. This is not a direct review of tennis-specific studies. However, over the past decade a few very important reviews have been completed looking directly at the health benefits of tennis (Groppel & DiNubile, 2009; Pluim, Staal, Marks, Miller, & Miley, 2007).
Pluim et al (2007) performed a thorough review of literature looking at the health benefits of tennis and the studies that have been performed directly looking at this relationship. Groppel et al (2009) also provided a great review highlighting the many health benefits of tennis and an important statement that was made in this review was “based on the scientific evidence available, it is difficult to find an activity that offers as wide a range of overall health benefits as tennis, and individuals who take up tennis reap tremendous rewards.”
Click here to access the previous research as highlighted above.
Research conclusions will be published in due course as research studies are generated through the ITF Health Benefits of Tennis taskforce.