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Study: UW athletes in better mental shape than classmates

MADISON — A new study finds University of Wisconsin-Madison Division 1 athletes are in better mental shape than their classmates.

UW-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health had 842 athletes and 1,322 undergraduates complete a survey of their physical and mental health in 2016. The athletes’ mental health scores were substantially higher than any of the four levels of physical activity the undergraduates self-selected, including club athletics, intramural sports, regular exercisers and physically inactive.

Traci Snedden, a nursing professor who led the study, says Division 1 athletes have more resources, including tutors, psychologists and trainers. She says non-athletes may struggle with a lack of health insurance, a lack of time to deal with illnesses or don’t know how to navigate health services.

The American Journal of Health Promotion published the results Wednesday.

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