16 Health Benefits of Playing Badminton | The Complete List

Written by Muhammad Arsalan Tariq | 02 February 2021

Health benefits of badminton featuring a young man performing the low serve.

This article is going to show you some of the biggest health benefits of playing badminton.

Badminton is one of the most popular sports in the world and has millions of players worldwide, for a good reason too!

One of the reasons for badminton’s popularity is that it’s a fast, safe, and fun game that does not require a lot of fancy equipment; a companion, a shuttlecock, and a racquet is all you need.

Here are the benefits of badminton (select a benefit to jump down to it):

  1. Badminton is fairly easy to learn
  2. It’s a social sport
  3. It can improve your agility
  4. It may develop your overall health
  5. It is relatively safe
  6. It can reduce the chances of a heart attack
  7. It can improve lung health
  8. It reduces stress
  9. It improves your flexibility
  10. It enhances reflexes
  11. It increases muscle tone
  12. It may prevent the development of diabetes
  13. It improves bone strength
  14. It can better your sleep
  15. It may reduce mental health issues
  16. It can aid in weight loss
  17. It improves your endurance

Badminton Is Fairly Easy to Learn

An animated sign saying, "it's easy", with a lightbulb and a clock above and below.

Badminton doesn’t have complicated rules/regulations, and you’ll be able to get a good rally after your first few training sessions.

Once you understand the basics of badminton such as how to hold a racquet in each shot and where to place your shot, it’s just a matter of repetition until you’re acing the game.

Summary:  Badminton is straightforward to learn; however, to master the game, you need to put a lot of focused time and effort in day after day.

Badminton Is a Social Sport

A 1950s photo of students and professors socializing in a game of badminton.

Credit: Duke University

Like a lot of other sports, badminton is a social sport – requiring a minimum of two people to play – yourself and a companion.

If you don’t have a lot of sporty friends, clubs and training sessions are a fantastic way to make like-minded friends.

Playing regular badminton also teaches you both independence and teamwork. For example, during a singles game, badminton develops your decision-making skills.

On the other hand, playing a doubles game in badminton enables you to learn the importance of good partnership and communication.

Quick tip: When playing doubles, always encourage one another with a high-five (when not in a pandemic I should add) no matter if you won or lost the point. Why? Because scientists say that positivity improves sports performance[1].

Summary: Badminton is a social sport as it requires yourself and one other person to play. If you’re playing doubles with four of you on the court, you have an even greater level of teamwork going on with positive reinforcement, tactical set ups, and good collaboration which will both help you win and amplify your friendships.

Badminton Can Improve Your Agility

Badminton is one of the most fast-paced games in the world.

During a game, you are constantly running in multiple directions, whilst at the same time shifting between your forehand and backhand to return shots.

Agility is defined as “the ability to move quickly and easily”, and if you think about how much effort it takes to keep the shuttle afloat, you’ll quickly see how badminton is one of the most agility enhancing sports that ever existed.

Summary: In badminton, you have to run all around the court and change direction instantly. The more your practice this type of movement, the better your ability will be to move quickly and easily, which, is the definition of ‘agility’.

Badminton May Improve Your Overall Health

An illustration of an apple, facemask, shield of health, and a love heart. Together they represent health.

Badminton is a very healthy sport as it gives you an intense full-body workout.

It requires you to utilize all your body muscles and increase your heart rate.

Combined, this will help build your overall health and fitness.

Summary: Badminton is a game which engages every part of your body. Therefore, with regular badminton training, you’ll be able to enhance your overall health.

Badminton Is a Relatively Safe Sport

An injured emoji face that is laughing with a tick - representing safe.

Unlike other sports such as boxing, rugby, or basketball, badminton is relatively safe. There are no significant risks of getting injured in badminton if you play the game correctly.

The only real risk from this type of fast-moving sport would be cuts/grazes, over-rotation of a joint, or a pulled muscle, which, is a risk in every racquet sport.

Badminton’s equipment is very light, meaning you don’t have anything heavy weighing you down. Furthermore, if you’re playing a singles game, there are no collisions risks.

Even in a doubles game, the risk of injury is low.

Summary: The only real risk of playing badminton is the typical trips, falls, and twists which can cause ligament, muscle, and cartilage damage.

Note: If you think you’re experiencing any of these problems, please consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have.

Badminton Reduces the Chance of a Heart Attack

A heart with plasters representing a heart attack.

Consistent badminton practice in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle can reduce your chances of persistent high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, and high cholesterol, which are all causes of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), a lead cause of heart attacks.[2]

Without this persistent pressure, you greatly reduce your chances of getting a heart attack.[3]

Summary: Regular exercise, such as playing badminton, may decrease your chances of getting Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which is a lead cause of heart attacks.

Badminton Can Improve Your Lung Health

An illustrated lung with lightning effects that represent lung pain.

Studies reveal that playing badminton may improve lung health because badminton is a form of exercise[4, 5].

The reason why it can improve lung health is that:

  1. The consistent, vigorous inhales and exhales in exercise leads to the strengthening of the respiratory muscles[6].
  2. Maximum lung inflation and deflation is an important physiological stimulus for the release of surfactant (molecules)[7].
  3. There are signs of development of new alveoli (in rodents)[8].

Summary: Badminton, as a form of exercise, can improve your lung health due to the strengthening of respiratory muscles, the release of molecules, and development of new alveoli.

Badminton Can Help You Release Stress

A girl laying down on her mat with her eyes closed feeling relaxed after the badminton training.
If you are feeling stressed, take your racquet and head to court! Badminton works wonders against stress.

Why?

When you do a workout, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones). It also stimulates the production of endorphins which elevate your mood.

Summary: Badminton reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins. This helps you reduce stress and improve your mood.

Badminton Improves Your Flexibility

K. Rytter Juhl reaching to return the shuttlecock on her left side displaying superb flexibility

Badminton requires a lot of flexibility, and regular gameplay will allow you to become more flexible.

The reason why is because your body has to move quickly and get to the shuttlecock before it reaches the floor, sometimes causing you to stretch your body.

The benefits of becoming more flexible include a more elastic body that will reduce the risks of injuries and an increase in returning the shuttlecock.

Summary: You may naturally become more flexible when playing badminton consistently because your body has to reach in order to return a good shot. If you perform dynamic and static stretches before and after your badminton training, you will also increase your flexibility.

Badminton Enhances Your Reflexes

A man in a white shirt and black shorts reaching to return a shuttlecock on his backhand.

Badminton is a very fast-paced game that improves your hand-eye coordination and reflexes.

This is because the shuttlecock travels at high speeds, meaning you must be mentally alert and react quickly.

Summary: To process the incoming shuttle’s trajectory and intercept it before dropping down requires you to have sharp reactions. A quick reaction is correlated with quick reflexes.

Badminton Helps Tone Your Muscles

See how muscles grow

Playing badminton on a regular basis helps you build muscle strength.

The rapid movement in the court and dealing with all kinds of strokes will break down your muscle fibres and therefore increase your muscle tone and endurance.

Summary:  Badminton is a mini body-toning workout which strengthens your core muscles, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Badminton May Prevent the Development of Diabetes

An outreached finger with a diabetes test being taken and a negative result being produced.

Badminton is an excellent form of exercise, and science tells us that 150 minutes of exercise per week, alongside a healthy, nutritional diet, may prevent type 1 and 2 diabetes from developing[9,10].

This is because exercise, such as playing badminton, improves your fitness, muscle strength, and insulin sensitivity.

However, if you already have diabetes, the difficulties related to blood glucose management vary with diabetes type, activity type, and presence of diabetes-related complications[11].

Physical activity and exercise recommendations, therefore, should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual.

To find the tailored exercise plan for you, seek the advice of a medical professional.

Summary: Badminton may reduce the risk of developing type 1 and 2 diabetes as it improves your fitnesses, muscle strength, and insulin sensitivity. However, the right exercise type varies from person to person, so it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional.

Badminton Can Improve Your Bone Strength

A young boy on a badminton court with strong, healthy bones.

Badminton is a weight-bearing exercise that helps to enhance your bone density and develop a stronger, healthier skeleton[12].

This is because our bones are somewhat similar to our muscles; the more you work them, the stronger they get.

It’s important to exercise for 150+ minutes per week at any age, but it’s especially important to perform this amount of exercise over the age of 30, whereby bone loss may begin to occur[12].

Therefore, doing weight-bearing sport like badminton several times a week, alongside resistance training, will not only improve your bone strength but also prevent you from bone loss.

Summary: Playing weight-bearing sports like badminton consistently each week, can increase your bone strength and decrease the rate of bone loss after the age of 30.

Badminton May Help You Sleep Better

A lady waking up after a wonderful nights sleep.

A game of badminton requires a lot of energy.

As you exert energy in the court, you tire yourself. This tiredness may improve the quality of your sleep.

For those with insomnia issues (approx. 15% of adults[13]),  studies show that regular exercise like playing badminton can help you fall asleep 13 minutes faster and stay asleep 18 minutes longer.

Researchers say that this is because:

  • Exercise relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression through the release of endorphins[14]
  • Exercise causes changes in your core body temperature to rise and then fall, mimicking what happens before you fall asleep[15, 16]
  • Exercise may improve the brain’s ability to metabolize serotonin and regulate sleep[17]

If you sleep well at night, you get the added benefit of feeling refreshed all day long.

Summary: Badminton may improve your quality of sleep because you’re able to release endorphins, raise and lower your core temperature, and improve your brain’s ability to metabolize serotonin for regulating sleep.

Badminton Enhances Your Mental Health

 

A man walking down a green, grassy hill with good mental health

Badminton can also improve your mental health because studies show that this type of exercise can reduce your anxiety, depression, and negative mood, whilst also improving self-esteem and cognitive function[18].

After exercise, your ability to think clearer, focus on difficult tasks, and block out distractions will enormously help.

“When your body moves, your brain grooves” – Jim Kwik ?

Badminton has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as social withdrawal.

This is because the more time you spend with good people on the court, the more confident you’ll become in your ability to think, speak, and interact with others in any setting.

Summary: Badminton can improve your mental health as physical activity is proven to reduce your anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It can also promote your self-esteem, cognitive function, and confidence.

Badminton Aids in Weight Reduction

 

An illustrated weighing scale in grey and turquoise colour with black text highlighting, "you've lost 5kg"

Badminton is a fantastic and fun way to burn your calories which can aid in weight loss.

For example, one hour of vigorous badminton training can burn 480 – 550 calories, which is among the highest in all sports.

To maintain a healthy body weight, you need to understand how much energy your body needs per day. This is what’s known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

As exercise burns energy (calories), the amount of energy you consume can increase, therefore raising the chances of staying under your recommended daily intake.

Summary: Badminton can aid in weight loss since you can burn a lot of calories through regular practice.

Badminton Improves Endurance and Stamina

An illustrated stick figure pushing a large rock up a steep mountain as an analogy for good endurance.

 

Badminton provides an excellent workout and improves your stamina.

If you are not a regular player, playing badminton will make you breathless in a matter of minutes.

However, the more frequently you play, the fitter you will become[19, 20, 21].

This satisfying increase in duration will be proof of your enhanced endurance.

Summary: Badminton is a physically demanding sport which requires strenuous movement. If you play consistently, your endurance, fitness, and stamina will improve.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed the list of the biggest benefits of badminton and feel even more motivated to get training.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

What would you say the biggest benefit of badminton?

What excites you about the game?

Or perhaps you have a question?

Feel free to leave a comment below or send a message to us on Instagram.

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Muhammad Arsalan Tariq

Muhammad is a talented badminton player who has been playing since he was 10 years old. With his consistency and dedication to the game, Arsalan has joined Healthy Principles' writing team in order to evolve and enhance badminton advice online.