Rehasport has examined emotions among fans

Rehasport Clinic and KKS Lech Poznań have researched the emotions of fans. The conclusion was that they are always present on stadiums regardless of the score.


Press conference at the Municipal Stadium. From left: KKS Lech spokesman Lukasz Borowicz, sports psychologist Pauline Jurga – Huebner, physiologist Dr. James Kryściak and Mercury Radio journalist, Christopher Ratajczak (Photo by Andrew Grupa)

The aim of the study was to investigate the scale and nature of emotions of Lech Poznan football fans who regularly visit the stadium at Bułgarska street . Seven fans, as well as a journalist of Radio Mercury, a non-league player and activist were equipped with special sporttesters, which had recorded changes in the frequency of heart contractions throughout the entire football game.

After the match the data had been analyzed by the physiologist of Rehasport Clinic, Dr. Jakub Kryściak. The study was conducted during three Lech league games : Polonia Warsaw ( 0-1), GKS Bełchatów (0-0) and Lechia Gdańsk (4-2 ). – We had expected the atmosphere on the stadium to have a big impact on the final result of the match. It turned out , however, that the mere fact of being in such a place increases heart rate, therefore enhancing one’s inner emotions and feelings – says Paulina Jurga – Huebner, a sport psychologist from Rehasport Clinic.


Rehasport Clinic physiologist Dr. Jakub Kryściak and Manuel Arboleda (Photo by Andrew Grupa)

The average heart rate at rest is 70 beats per minute. During these three meetings sport fans had proven considerably higher results: the first was an average of 111 beats , the second 108 and third 111. Therefore, no matter the result of the match, yet just the fact of being out on the tribunes and experiencing the game is what matters most – says Dr. Jakub Kryściak.

The physiologist had chosen a few key moments which had caused the biggest changes of heart rate, and thus the greatest emotions in every match.  The study of these moments during the last match with Lechia Gdańsk (winning 4-2), showed higher results than in previous games. The maximum heart rate among fans watching the game of six goals was, on average, 155 heart beats (139 in the case of Polonia , and GKS – 145). The youngest fan was extremely emotional during the first two goals for Lech by Marcin Kaminski. The spectator’s heat beat jumped up to 174 beats, whereas Hubert Wołąkiewicz’s penalty shot had raised this heart beat to a record  of175 beats.

We could also notice some changes among Mercury Radio commentators. In the meetings with Polonia and GKS, the sporttester had accompanied editor Krzysztof Ratajczak, whereas in the last meeting – editor Hanna Lechia Urbaniak.  And it is the latter whose emotions proved to be higher.  It just so happened that she had been on the air when Kaminski shot the 1:0 goal, resulting in her heart to be beating at a frequency of 169 beats per minute. For example, when Wołąkiewicz was shooting his penalty shot, being commented by another journalist from Radio Mercury, Hanna Urbaniak’s pulse had been more than 40 beats lower. – It is also a matter of experience. I have been commenting games for many years and therefore I have more control over my emotions than she does – says editor Krzysztof Ratajczak.


Kasper Hamalainen (Photo by Andrew Grupa)

Kasper Hämäläinen, the leader of keeping emotions in suspense, had watched the Lechia game from the tribunes due to injury, and thanks to which he could participate in the analysis.  His average heart rate during the Lechia game was 65 beats per minute, and the maximum (during Wołąkiewicz’s goal) – only 88. Conclusion: Hämäläinen can perfectly control his emotions. – Therefore, our study had shown that both positive and negative events have an impact on the formation of our emotions. We may observe a series of physiological responses, including the heart working faster;  our cognitive assessment strengthens our external reaction. Due to the emotions we experience, we desire to return to the stadium and wish to strengthen our bond with the club, resulting in our inner feelings to become a form of addiction. We also become aware that emotions give our actions meaning and significance – admits Paulina Jurga-Huebner, a sport psychologist from Rehasport Clinic.