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The UNOSDP uses sports to improve a few areas in terms of health. It hopes to prevent and stabilize non-communicable disease and infectious disease, and enhance people’s mental health.

Helping non-communicable disease

Around 60% of major deaths and disabilities can be attributed to non-communicable or chronic diseases such as “heart disease and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes”. Many of these diseases can be attributed towards a lack of physical activity. Therefore, playing sports helps the “prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis, as well as individual and societal economic benefits such as reduced health-care costs and increase productivity.”

Helping infectious disease

Many infectious diseases can be prevented if people are informed about its nature. Sports’s popularity and communicative power makes it an ideal to inform people about ways to avoid getting these diseases.

Helping mental health

Many mental problems including stress, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem can be prevented. Playing sports have proven to combat problems like these, as on the field players feel joyful, and long term physical activity results in better well-being and health that help boost self confidence.

(Information courtesy of UNOSDP)

http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/sport/home/unplayers/memberstates/pid/15906