If you're a fan of soccer--and I refer particularly to the FIFA World Cup--you'd better make the most of it while it's still around. If things go as planned, the 2018 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup championships will be the last ones to be played. After that, it's goodbye World Cup.
The reason? Here's why.
"Watching the World Cup Is Shortening Your Life Span" by Timi Gustafson, Huffington Post Blog.
FIFA has said the health of the fans is more important than the happiness of the fans. And if watching the World Cup is going to shorten the lives of the fans, it's better to end the greatest sports spectacle on the face of this earth. The excitement, the sheer delight and happiness, the commercial bonanza, "the continued global development of the game and the achievement of wider social goals and other benefits."(FIFA) All this is nothing when it comes to the long life of soccer fans.
Surely no one can blame FIFA for taking such a painful decision. And it does hurt, believe me. There have been objections that the depression resulting from the cancellation of the World Cup could shorten people's lives. But till there are conclusive studies done on the adverse effects of cancelling the World Cup, FIFA cannot take the risk of continuing the soccer championship.
Perhaps we should take a closer look into this argument that watching the World Cup is shortening your life span. I do this not for myself, mind you. I sit idle all day long whether there is a World Cup going on or not. So it doesn't make much difference to me. But I sympathize with the real soccer diehard fans.
The first thing you'll notice if you read through the blog is that it's not exactly or strictly watching the World Cup that is shortening your life. It's watching television--especially sitting for extended periods--that is harmful.
"Even if you discount all the drinking and snacking that typically comes with watching games on television, the fact that people sit for extended periods of time is disconcerting enough, according to studies on the health effects of sitting. Recent research from Spain found that adults who spend three or more hours in front of the tube per day may double their risk of premature death compared to those who watch less."
Why single out the World Cup? Why couldn't the title of the article have been, "Sitting Idle for Extended Periods is Shortening Your Life Span"?
Of course you know the reason why. The World Cup championship is underway right now. Simply putting the words "World Cup" in the title is enough to attract thousands of readers. Why do you think I put those catchy words in the title of this article? Strike while the iron is hot. Or shoot while you can score a goal.
So we can breathe easier. For now, at least. We still have to convince FIFA that the World Cup isn't going to kill you. Unless you have a heart attack when your team scores a goal. In that case you'll go straight to soccer heaven, where you can watch angels playing their version of the FIFA World Cup for an eternity.
Let's get back to the blog that threatens to put an end to the World Cup.
"The results took into account diet and lifestyle differences as well as age. It is possible that other factors like existing illnesses played a role in some cases, but it also became clear that prolonged inactivity contributed to an increased resistance to insulin, reduced lean muscle mass, and increased body fat."
The culprit, then, is inactivity. I won't get into an argument over all the other points. Things like diet, lifestyle, age, existing illnesses. I mean, I could offer a protracted argument over all these points. But my concern, remember, is the World Cup. I hate it when people single out a popular event to draw attention to a study that extends over a much wider area. I want to protect the World Cup, and I mean to do it even if it shortens my life span.
The point directly concerning the World Cup is the issue of sitting for three hours or more. First, I've watched all the games so far, and I haven't sat for three hours during any game. Not even when the game went into overtime and penalty shootouts. I got off my rear at least ten times during any game to walk to the kitchen for a drink or a snack, and to go to the bathroom. Halftime for the players is get up time for me.
And, hey, don't forget the most intensive workout of the entire day--when I leap up to celebrate a goal. The jumping up and down, the waving of arms in the air, the yelling and screaming, provides more of an aerobic workout than I get on any given day. My lungs pump away like crazy. Improved blood circulation. The flush on my face is evidence enough. And the exhilaration actually extends my life span.
Enough said. I hope FIFA is reading this article. I believe I can take credit for having saved the World Cup from writers who're willing to kill it only to get extra readers.