Intramurals are good for your health

It is easy not focus on doing any type of athletic activity, but joining an intramural team is a healthy choice



Take some time out of your day and try one of WSU’s many intramural sports offered on campus. It can be a good outlet for physical activity.


Attending WSU means dedicating a large amount of time to academics and the pursuit of a degree that will take us into a sustainable career. However, students often find they have free time in their schedule.

Many like to use their spare time to sleep or catch up on episodes of “The Bachelor,” both equally valid ways to decompress from rigorous homework. For others, physical activity is a popular way to relieve some stress. However, it can be challenging to find motivation to trek all the way to the gym by oneself, just to hop on the despicable, dreaded treadmill for even ten minutes.

Well dread the tread no further ladies and gentlemen, because there are seventy-five different ways to get active without hating it, and they are the various intramural sports offered at our school.

Intramural sports began as early as 1902 on the WSU campus and now over 6,000 students participate in activities of all different kinds.
Sports offered range from the traditional team sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball to less traditional ones like flag football, kickball, table tennis and so many more. Intramural sports offer all different types of groups levels and degrees of competitiveness. There are men’s and women’s teams, co-ed teams, or you can join with a fraternity or sorority.

These sporting groups are great ways to not only play a fun sport, but to meet new people and make new friends. With such a large group that participates in intramurals, students are bound to interact with new peer groups.

“Intramural sports are one of the many ways students can meet other students,” Deborah Handy, WSU associate professor in the department of human development said. “The Coug family is very real.”

In addition to the great community-building that results from intramurals, it has been argued that involving oneself in a physical activity can boost mental health and well-being.

Several studies from the American Journal of Psychiatry have shown that just a little bit of exercise throughout the week can boost overall happiness and lower risks of depression and anxiety, which college students are known to experience.

“Physical activity can help us feel better about ourselves,” Handy said.

Mood-boosting activity can be anything, and intramural sports can provide just the right amount of activity for students because they can choose their level of engagement.

“Stress for intramurals is low because the sports are optional,” Tammy Crawford, WSU clinical assistant professor in sport management, said. “There are no negatives to participation.”

Crawford said intramurals can be great ways to pick up sports that we might have dropped in high school. Often, high school sports get way too competitive for the liking of some or other things become a sole focus, such as music, art or academics.

“They are a big thing for students who stopped in high school if they had to specialize,” she said.

Intramurals can help us get up, get out and get active. We can play the sports we have always loved or pick up something completely new. We can play as little as we want or participate in competitive leagues and playoffs.

So, what are you waiting for? The intramural world is your oyster, and you can live it just how you want.