The trendiest sport of last summer, pickleball, is currently being studied for the various benefits it can bring to its players, both mentally and physically. Whether you have already heard about it or not, or perhaps if a friend has invited you to play, this article will provide you with insights into the benefits that have been studied by the Apple research team compared to the long-standing sport of tennis.
The information collected by the Apple Watch for the Apple Heart and Movement Study shows that participants who play pickleball or tennis for long periods of time showed an average peak heart rate that reached within 70% of their estimated maximum heart rate. Pickleball matches last longer than tennis, but with tennis workouts, you spend more time at higher intensity and have a higher average peak heart rate. For the first time, researchers saw an increase in pickleball workouts surpassing tennis matches. Utah is in first place for the most pickleball workouts per capita in the study.
Both sports offer a healthy activity. The research, after analyzing more than 250,000 workouts including tennis or pickleball, found that pickleball matches are played for an average of 90 minutes compared to 81 minutes in tennis. The average peak heart rate data shows that tennis players have 152 BPM, with men having 9 beats more per minute than pickleball players with 143 BPM.
The benefits are not only physical but mental as well. Participants completed a screening tool called the “Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2)” to screen for depression. The results of the PHQ-2 suggest that pickleball players have a lower frequency of depressed mood, with a 60.1% lower rate among frequent pickleball players and a 51.3% lower rate among tennis players compared to the general participant pool.
As pickleball continues to grow in popularity nationwide, it’s great to hear that it offers some of the best benefits that long-established sports like tennis provide. You can use the Apple Watch app Activity to track your pickleball matches, close your rings, and have fun!