In countries the world over including China, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom, badminton is hot. So hot, says the BBC Sport Academy, it’s the world’s second most popular participation sport after soccer (football). And in 1992, it became a sport at the Summer Olympics, giving it an increasingly global reach.
Whether you’re young or older, playing indoors or out, this non-contact sport is great for people and families of all ages and ability levels, says Dr. Shirley Li, a pediatrician and medical director for Abbott’s nutrition business in mainland China and Hong Kong. “As a flexible sport, playing badminton allows players to move their joints in a healthy way – the neck, shoulders, and back, as well.” And because the game keeps bodies in constant motion, Li says players’ eyes do the same, “which benefit for protecting healthy vision, whether the player is young or old.”
“Good badminton players must manage their breath well, which is not only important to win the game, but also benefits the respiratory system.” And, says Li, it’s an easy, effective way to keep active while boosting your mood and energy levels and relieving stress.
Here, five health-related reasons why you might want to pick up a badminton racket and start batting that shuttlecock around.