10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Playing Basketball

Now know how your favorite sport helps you stay fit, healthy, and happy.

Reviewed by Alex Crockford, Fitness Coach Alex Crockford Alex CrockfordFitness Coach facebook_icontwitter_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Health & Wellness Writer Shirin Mehdi Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Senior Editor Arshiya Syeda Senior Editor Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Health & Wellness Writer Himanshi Mahajan Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 2 years

You must have heard that playing basketball regularly can help you grow taller and become swifter and stronger. Well, that’s true. But that is not all – as there are many other benefits of playing basketball that you may want to know.

Continue reading to explore the several other benefits of playing this sport regularly.

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Basketball
  • Frequency: Thrice a week
  • Benefits: Promotes physical health, mental clarity, and emotional well-being.
  • Equipment Needed: Basketball
  • Space Required: Large area
  • Assistance Required: Not necessary.
  • Who Should Avoid: Individuals who have been advised to avoid high-intensity activities or with existing injuries and cardiovascular issues.

Basketball – A Brief

Basketball is a much-loved sport all across the world. It is popular because it can be played as a competitive sport or a casual game on the local court. It is also a great way to work out as it involves using your entire body (1). Dr. Suzanne Manzi, MD, says, “Playing basketball is a great way to promote physical health, mental clarity, and emotional well-being. Research has consistently shown that basketball can help to improve physical fitness, body composition, and cognitive functioning. Additionally, it can help to reduce stress levels and provide an outlet for emotional expression.” It is a fast-paced game that involves a good deal of jumping and running which is a fantastic way to exercise. If you want a sport that helps you stay fit and healthy, basketball is the perfect choice as it comes with more than a few health benefits.

According to one study, approximately 14.4 million US youth (6–14 years old), or 39% of this age group, play basketball. With over 11 million participants, basketball is also the most popular team sport for children between the ages of 12 and 17.

protip_icon Trivia
According to a survey conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, basketball is the team sport that people in the US aged 15 years or older engage in most frequently (2).

Following are the health benefits of basketball.

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Playing Basketball

1. Promotes Cardiovascular Health

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Basketball is great for your heart health! Because you keep moving, your heart rate increases. It also helps in building endurance, which is important when you want to make sure that your heart is healthy. It will help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease later in your life (3).

2. Burns Calories

Close up of a fitness tracker on woman's hand displaying heart rate, steps count and burnt calories while standing on scales.
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Do you want to shed a few extra kilos? Play basketball! All the quick lateral movements, running and jumping, gives you an aerobic workout that in turn can help you burn a lot of calories. For every hour of basketball, a person who weighs 165 pounds can expect to burn about 600 calories while a person who weighs 250 pounds can expect to burn approximately 900 calories.

3. Builds Bone Strength

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The physical demands of this awesome sport help in improving and building bone strength and bone density. Any physical activity that involves weight-bearing allows the formation of new bone tissue, and this in turn makes the bones stronger (4). Both the muscles and bones in your body become stronger with basketball as it is a physical activity that involves the tugging and pushing of muscles against bone.

4. Boosts The Immune System

When you play basketball or any other sport, it helps in reducing stress (5). When stress is decreased, you will have more energy and focus to complete tasks. It also makes you more social, which in turns helps in preventing depression. When stress is lowered, your immune system gets a boost as well.

5. Provides Strength Training

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By playing basketball, you get an excellent full-body workout. This helps in the development of lean muscle. It can help develop your lower back, neck, deltoids, traps and core muscles. It also makes your legs stronger, and the movements like shooting and dribbling help strengthen your arms, hand muscles and wrist flexors (6).

6. Boosts Mental Development

Basketball may be a fast-paced game that requires a lot of physical skills, but it is also a mind game that requires you to think on your toes (4). It requires you to have a strategy and a lot of focus so that you can accurately and quickly process the action on the court and make decisions that are effective with the ball. It also requires you to train yourself so that you can observe your opponents and teammates constantly and make quick decisions based on their actions.

7. Develops Better Coordination And Motor Skills

Basketball requires excellent hand-eye coordination as well as full-body coordination (5) When you play this sport, it gives you the training to help develop these skills. Dribbling gives you training for hand-eye coordination while rebounding shots that are missed gives you the training to develop full-body coordination (7).

8. Develops Self-Discipline And Concentration

As with other sports, there are rules that need to be followed when you play basketball. When you break these rules, it can lead to penalties for you as well as your team. The game requires commitment, dedication, and motivation. It helps you develop discipline, which is important as it encourages you to be more competitive and fair at the same time. It also keeps your mind focused and alert.

9. Improves Awareness Of Space And Body

Basketball is a game that improves spatial awareness (8). You need to know where you are positioned to make that perfect shot or play defense effectively. When you have an awareness of the space and body, you will know exactly where you need to be when your teammate or opponent makes a shot or passes the ball. When your spatial awareness is improved, it also helps in keeping you in balance.

10. Boosts Confidence

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One of the best benefits of playing basketball is that it truly boosts one’s confidence (9). Being a good player and being a member of a great team can do wonders to increase your self-esteem and help you gain more confidence. When your confidence is boosted, your faith in your skills is also increased. Being confident allows you to face life with an improved disposition and has a positive effect on every aspect of your life.

Manilka Fernando, a blogger, shared the different benefits of playing basketball. He said, “In basketball we need self confidence on defense, as well as on offense. Whenever I play a game I have this thought in my mind, “YES I CAN DO IT”. So I have absorbed it into my life, now when I’m doing an activity I have the confidence to make it happen (i).”

The fast-paced action involved in basketball makes it one of the most exciting games to play and watch in the world. The fact that it provides numerous benefits is an excellent bonus. It is no wonder that the President of the US has made it a part of his regular workout regimen to keep himself physically and mentally fit. It is a great game for both adults and children. If you are looking to play a sport that gives you multiple benefits, both physically and mentally, this is the one for you.

Despite the many benefits of basketball, it does have its fair share of downsides. Learn more about them below.

Disadvantages Of Playing Basketball

  • It is a high-impact sport that may lead to injuries like sprained ankles, knee injuries, fractures, and concussions (10).
  • Since it requires a lot of running and jumping around, it may cause stress on your joints, especially if you are overweight or obese.
  • It is an expensive sport as the equipment like basketball, hoop, and the specific shoes needed for it can be costly.
  • It is a team sport, which means you cannot play it on your own.
  • If you do not enjoy playing basketball, you are less likely to stick with it in the long term, which may not be ideal for you if you are plating it for weight loss.

Here are some tips you can follow to avoid the major downside of basketball – injuries.


  • Always warm up and stretch your joints and muscles before you hit the court. Make it a point to stretch and cool down after a game as well.
  • Basketball is a physically demanding game. It is important to have plenty of fluids on hand so that you can rehydrate your body at regular intervals.
  • Because of the physical demands, it is important that you keep yourself flexible and strong.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Mix up your basketball games with some low-impact sports like swimming or golf to prevent overuse injuries.

Infographic: Top Health Benefits Of Playing Basketball

Basketball helps you gain endurance and strength, among many other health benefits that improve your overall well-being. While we have covered all the benefits of basketball playing in the article, you must note a few important points. See the infographic below to learn more about the top health benefits of playing basketball.

health benefits of playing basketball (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Playing basketball helps you cover a wide range of movements as you constantly keep running and jumping. It helps improve your heart rate and endurance, thus lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is a demanding sport in terms of stamina and energy, so it is the best way to burn calories. Moreover, the intense physical activity involved in this sport also helps boost immunity, strengthen bones, and improve concentration, flexibility, and the mind-body connection. The game also improves mental toughness, helps with quick decision-making, and provides stress relief. For injury prevention, make sure you stretch your body and properly hydrate yourself before getting to the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is basketball a good sport for girls?

Basketball, like any other sports, is good for anyone with a liking for it, irrespective of their gender. It helps provide bone and muscle strength, improves stamina, and keeps you fit and active.

Why is women’s basketball not popular?

Given ample opportunities and the required exposure and training, women basketball can get equally popular pretty soon.

Is basketball good for high blood pressure?

Yes. High blood pressure can be lowered by playing basketball for 70 minutes, three times per week, with an exercise intensity of 50% to 80% of your heart rate reserve (HRR) (11).

Key Takeaways

  • Playing basketball can improve your cardiovascular health. and can lower the risk of getting a heart stroke. If you play regularly, the constant movement increases your heart rate.
  • Basketball can help you reduce stress and feel more energetic, thus improving your mental health and immunity.
  • It makes your muscles stronger and can develop your lower back, traps, neck, deltoids, and core muscles.
  • Playing basketball can help you enhance your spatial awareness. It gives you great awareness of space and body and you get more mindful and focused with time.
benefits of playing basketball

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Playing basketball can be great for your health. From improved cardiovascular health to increased coordination, check out the video below to know more about why you should include this sport in your life.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Vertical jump anaerobic power and shooting accuracy are not altered 6 hours after strength training in collegiate women basketball players
  2. Sports ad Exercise
  3. Aerobic-anaerobic profiles heart rate and match analysis in old basketball players
  4. The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients
  5. Nutrition antioxidant status and oxidative stress in professional basketball players: effects of a three compound antioxidative supplement
  6. Effects of a combined strength and conditioning training program on physical abilities in adolescent male basketball players
  7. Effects of a Coordinative Ability Training Program on Adolescents’ Cognitive Functioning
  8. The Effectiveness of a CLIL Basketball Lesson: A Case Study of Japanese Junior High School CLIL
  9. The Effect of Introducing a Smaller and Lighter Basketball on Female Basketball Players’ Shot Accuracy
  10. Injury in the National Basketball Association
  11. Effects of smoking and aerobic exercise on male college students’ metabolic syndrome risk factors
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