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Study reveals that sports has evolved into something more meaningful

“Sports have evolved into more than just a spectacle where two or more teams or athletes battle it out for fame, glory, and money. Watching sports have evolved into an activity that in itself is imbued with meaning for consumers,” says Phil Tiongson, Havas Ortega’s Head of Data and Analytics.

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Photo by Dan Gold from Unsplash.com

HAVAS ORTEGA’s latest Prosumer research study, “Sports Forward”, finds that for Filipinos, sports are no longer just a pastime or a way to see which individual athlete or team can outplay, outrun, outlast, and outperform the competition. In the eyes of the Filipino Prosumer, sports are far more meaningful than just being a spectacular battle of physical and mental feats.

“Sports have evolved into more than just a spectacle where two or more teams or athletes battle it out for fame, glory, and money. Watching sports have evolved into an activity that in itself is imbued with meaning for consumers,” says Phil Tiongson, Havas Ortega’s Head of Data and Analytics.

He adds, “Filipino Prosumers have become more immersed in sports because of the technological changes that we have seen brought on by the internet and social media. With this deeper immersion also came the evolution of sports as more than just an entertainment and a spectacle. As people became more immersed in sports and news about their favorite sports, they have begun to realize that it plays a significant role in their personal lives and in the bigger society and culture that they live in.”

Sports as a physical, mental, and social salve

Some people may be quick to dismiss sport as a mere hobby, but the newly released study of Havas Ortega proves sports play a far more essential role than that. Sports contribute to physical fitness, mental wellbeing, and good social relationships. 96% of Filipino Prosumers agree that people who play sports are more likely to stay healthy. This is relevant in these times of increased rates of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. It is also particularly relevant during these Covid-19 pandemic times, which sees everyone’s health and immunity being challenged by the coronavirus. 

Sports also imbue participants with important values and life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and courage in the face of adversity. Sports are also a critical component of our social fabric, bringing together communities and nations. In its survey, the Havas Ortega Prosumer study found that 94% of Filipino Prosumers believe that sports have the power to positively affect various aspects of their lives.

Sports are also seen as a mental and emotional salve, 88% of Filipino Prosumers also believe that people who play sports are more likely to stay healthy mentally and emotionally. This points to a strong belief that sports are in the same category as relaxation, meditation, and other mental health practices that promote mental wellbeing – a necessity during these highly-stressful times of fighting Covid-19.

Sports’ contributions to wellbeing, however, go beyond the personal. In addition to personal benefits, sports also are seen as being able to contribute to the building of a peaceful society. About half (48%) of the Filipino Prosumers consider sports as the best way for people to socialize and build strong, meaningful relationships with one another. Amongst the younger 18-34 year old respondents, 52% see sports as a way to build meaningful social bonds with others. 

On a global scale, sports are also seen by 98% of Filipino Prosumers as a way to broker and maintain peace amongst countries, breaking down the physical, linguistic, and time differences across the world.

Sports is now evolving

Because of the emphasis that Filipinos put on sports, there are new expectations from athlete-celebrities, federations and leagues, and broadcasters of sports events.

More than 95% of Filipino Prosumers believe that professional sports leagues and federations have an obligation to uphold values and ethics within their sports. It is not sufficient that leagues hold events featuring Filipinos’ favorite sports and athletes. Sports managers should ensure that the spirit of sportsmanship, honesty, fairness, cooperation, and teamwork are imbued in and expressed by their teams as they play to win.

Sports fans are more than just spectators, they are beginning to find meaning in patronizing and following sports and athletes. Consumers want to experience sports in a deeper sense. More than three-fourths (77%) of Filipino Prosumers believe fans should be able to interact with athletes regularly, while 94% believe sports brands have an obligation to provide fans with in-person experiences that money can’t buy.

“Fans are devoting so much time, effort, and money to follow athletes and teams, knowing the ins and outs of the trade, fans and fandoms grow their knowledge, network, and influence. With social media, fans today have the platform to communicate their thoughts and voice their opinions. They can be the best ambassadors for sports teams and brands in the future,” Tiongson added.

Sports also play an important role in ensuring equality and inclusion – regardless of gender or race or religion. In fact, 90% of Filipino Prosumers believe media coverage of female athletes is the best way to change perceptions of women and diffuse stereotypes that demean women. 

Additionally, practically everyone in the Prosumer group (99%) believe that sports brands should create athletic apparel that’s more inclusive of all religions, such as the incorporation of the Muslims’ hijab for women.

“Sports have gone a long way from being a mere spectacle and a battle for fame, glory, and money,” says Mr. Tiongson. “Sports are now seen as content that is imbued with meaning and that can contribute to meaningful, positive change in society. Everyone involved in sports – athletes, celebrities, leagues, clubs, federations, and even sporting apparel and retailer brands – should think about their emerged role in the lives of audiences. People look up to them more closely for meaningful inspiration – and they expect more from them.”

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Alsons Dev welcomes The Abba’s Orchard to Avia Estate

The country’s largest and most esteemed network of authentic Montessori schools, The Abba’s Orchard, breaks ground on June 14 for its 15th campus located in Avia Estate, a township project in Alabel, Sarangani by Alsons Development and Investment Corporation (Alsons Dev).

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The country’s largest and most esteemed network of authentic Montessori schools, The Abba’s Orchard, breaks ground on June 14 for its 15th campus located in Avia Estate, a township project in Alabel, Sarangani by Alsons Development and Investment Corporation (Alsons Dev).

The expansion reflects the school’s mission of “Discover True Montessori Philippines,” offering high-quality education in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region—a mission that aligns with Alsons Dev’s vision to offer vibrant live-work-play-learn communities where families and businesses can thrive. Recognizing this shared purpose, Alsons Dev partnered with The Abba’s Orchard, contributing a substantial two hectares of land within Avia Estate to make the school a reality.

“We at Alsons Dev are thrilled to partner with The Abba’s Orchard in bringing this exceptional learning environment to Alabel,” said Miguel Dominguez, Alsons Dev Director. “This collaboration aligns with our commitment to fostering growth and development within SOCCSKSARGEN.”

Discover how Avia Estate can let you live your best life. For more information about Avia Estate, visit facebook.com/AviaEstate.

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Optimism wards off procrastination

While procrastinators often admonish themselves for their “bad habit,” it turns out that their worries for the future are more to blame.

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People with an optimistic outlook on the future are less likely to be severe procrastinators, according to new research at the University of Tokyo. While procrastinators often admonish themselves for their “bad habit,” it turns out that their worries for the future are more to blame. Through a survey of nearly 300 young people, researchers found that those who had a positive view about their stress levels decreasing in the future, compared to the past or present, were less likely to experience severe procrastination. Views on personal well-being didn’t appear to have an effect. Improving people’s outlook and readiness for the future could help them overcome procrastination and achieve a less stressful lifestyle. 

How many times have you made a “to do” list, and although the most important task is at the top, you seem to be working your way up from the bottom or distracted by something else entirely? While we might chide ourselves for procrastinating, sometimes the more we try to overcome it, the more stressed we feel and the cycle continues. That is how it was for graduate student Saya Kashiwakura from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, so she decided to investigate why.

“I have struggled with procrastination since childhood. I would clean my room when I needed to study for a test and prioritize aikido practice over my postgraduate research. This habit of putting off important tasks has been a constant challenge,” said Kashiwakura. “I wanted to change my behavior, as I realized that I was not confronting the future impact of my actions.”

This inspired Kashiwakura to examine the relationship between procrastination and the procrastinator’s perspective on time, particularly their view of the future. When she began researching procrastination, she was surprised to discover that many more people suffer from it than she had imagined and found it reassuring her problems were not unique.

Previous research has shown that a feature of procrastination is disregard for the future or difficulty linking present actions with future outcomes. However, the reasons for this have been unclear. Kashiwakura and co-author Professor Kazuo Hiraki, also from UTokyo, proposed that it might be because severe procrastinators have a more pessimistic outlook. 

The researchers surveyed 296 participants in Japan in their 20s for their views on stress and well-being, and importantly how these changed over time. This included asking about their experiences from 10 years in the past through to the present, and their expectations for 10 years in the future. From the results, participants were clustered into one of four groups (for example, if they thought their situation would improve or would stay the same), and then each group was divided into severe, middle and low procrastinators. 

“Our research showed that optimistic people — those who believe that stress does not increase as we move into the future — are less likely to have severe procrastination habits,” explained Kashiwakura. “This finding helped me adopt a more light-hearted perspective on the future, leading to a more direct view and reduced procrastination.” 

It was not only the level of stress people experienced, but how their perception of it changed over the 20-year time period discussed, which influenced their procrastination habits. Surprisingly, a relationship wasn’t found between procrastination and negative views on well-being, such as one’s attitude towards oneself, or not yet finding purpose and goals in life.

Using these results, the team wants to develop ways to help people nurture a more optimistic mindset and overcome procrastination. “We hope our findings will be particularly useful in the education sector. We believe that students will achieve better outcomes and experience greater well-being when they can comprehend their procrastination tendencies scientifically, and actively work on improving them, rather than blaming themselves,” said Kashiwakura. 

“Thoughts can change with just a few minutes of watching a video or be shaped by years of accumulation. Our next step is to investigate which approach is appropriate this time, and how we can develop the ‘right’ mindset to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.”

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Study shows how night shift work can raise risk of diabetes, obesity

“When internal rhythms are dysregulated, you have this enduring stress in your system that we believe has long-term health consequences.”

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Just a few days on a night shift schedule throws off protein rhythms related to blood glucose regulation, energy metabolism and inflammation, processes that can influence the development of chronic metabolic conditions.

The finding, from a study led by scientists at Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, provides new clues as to why night shift workers are more prone to diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders.

“There are processes tied to the master biological clock in our brain that are saying that day is day and night is night and other processes that follow rhythms set elsewhere in the body that say night is day and day is night,” said senior study author Hans Van Dongen, a professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “When internal rhythms are dysregulated, you have this enduring stress in your system that we believe has long-term health consequences.”

Though more research is needed, Van Dongen said the study shows that these disrupted rhythms can be seen in as little as three days, which suggests early intervention to prevent diabetes and obesity is possible. Such intervention could also help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, which is elevated in night shift workers as well.

Published in the Journal of Proteome Research, the study involved a controlled laboratory experiment with volunteers who were put on simulated night or day shift schedules for three days. Following their last shift, participants were kept awake for 24 hours under constant conditions—lighting, temperature, posture and food intake—to measure their internal biological rhythms without interference from outside influences. 

Blood samples drawn at regular intervals throughout the 24-hour period were analyzed to identify proteins present in blood-based immune system cells. Some proteins had rhythms closely tied to the master biological clock, which keeps the body on a 24-hour rhythm. The master clock is resilient to altered shift schedules, so these protein rhythms didn’t change much in response to the night shift schedule.

However, most other proteins had rhythms that changed substantially in night shift participants compared to the day shift participants.

Looking more closely at proteins involved in glucose regulation, the researchers observed a nearly complete reversal of glucose rhythms in night shift participants. They also found that processes involved in insulin production and sensitivity, which normally work together to keep glucose levels within a healthy range, were no longer synchronized in night shift participants.

The researchers said this effect could be caused by the regulation of insulin trying to undo the glucose changes triggered by the night shift schedule. They said this may be a healthy response in the moment, as altered glucose levels may damage cells and organs, but could be problematic in the long run.

“What we showed is that we can really see a difference in molecular patterns between volunteers with normal schedules and those with schedules that are misaligned with their biological clock,” said Jason McDermott, a computational scientist with PNNL’s Biological Sciences Division. “The effects of this misalignment had not yet been characterized at this molecular level and in this controlled manner before.”

The researchers’ next step will be to study real-world workers to determine whether night shifts cause similar protein changes in long-term shift workers.

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