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Watching Baseball Games May Save Your Life...

On occasion, I like to point out what appears on the surface to be a frivolous study that may have an interesting upside, as in keeping you away from the hospital, a place where common mistakes often contribute to thousands of needless deaths every year in this country.

Harvard researchers found an undeniable link between the growing interest in their hometown Boston Red Sox incredible surge to the 2004 World Series title with each game and a sharp decline in patient visits to local emergency rooms.

As the Red Sox dropped the first three games of last year's American League Championship series with the New York Yankees, emergency room traffic was higher than normal, but soon declined sharply with each Boston victory in an exciting eight-game streak that led them to their first World Series title in almost a century.

In comparison to local TV ratings of Red Sox games, emergency room visits declined by as much as 15 percent. Just imagine how that scenario may have played out on a national scale...

Perhaps, people are more careful -- albeit sedentary -- when glued to the tube to watch an exciting sporting event, an important fact when you consider an astonishing 18 people die every hour due to injuries in this country.

New Scientist September 26, 2005

MedPage Today September 26, 2005 Registration Required

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