Top 10 reasons to play tennis

May 22, 2017

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The national Tennis Health & Wellness Task Force, comprised of top doctors and sports medicine experts, is putting together public service messages about the health, fitness, wellness and life benefits of tennis, and recently came out with its “Top 10 Reasons to Play Tennis.”

The Task Force, which is supported by the tennis industry, is chaired by Dr. Jack Groppel, the Co-Founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute and the Health & Wellness Advisor for the tennis industry.

“Tennis has historically been called ‘the sport for a lifetime,’” says Dr. Groppel, who is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in the science of human performance and has a long history in the sport of tennis. “According to world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines, there’s no doubt that tennis is one of the best sports to play — at any age.”

The Task Force’s first effort, the “Top 10 Reasons to Play Tennis,” has been produced in cooperation with the Tennis Industry Association (TIA). A free, downloadable poster is available at

“Based on research, the ‘Top 10 Reasons to Play Tennis’ include how the sport positively affects your body, your brain and your life,” notes Dr. Groppel, whose involvement in tennis also includes 16 years as chair of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) National Sport Science Committee.

For example, an hour of singles play can burn 580 to 870 calories, and the sport can help people lose weight, get fit and live longer. Tennis also helps reduce stress, and it improves social skills.

Dr. Groppel also cites an Oxford University study released last fall that followed more than 80,000 people for an average of nine years and determined that of all sports surveyed — including swimming, aerobics and biking — those who played racquet sports such as tennis were least likely to die over the study period. The study showed that participation in a racquet sport such as tennis decreases early mortality risk due to heart disease by 56 percent.

Oxford Associate Professor Dr. Charlie Foster said of the study, “We think racquet sports not only offer the usual physiological benefits, but also offer additional mental health and social benefits, perhaps unique to these sports.”

“Consumers need to know about these benefits and how they can impact their lives and the lives of their children,” Dr. Groppel says. “That’s the goal of our Tennis Health & Wellness Task Force. With the support of the organizations in the tennis and sports industries, we need to reach and engage mainstream Americans with our messages of the health, wellness and life benefits of tennis.”

The Tennis Health & Wellness Task Force that Dr. Groppel chairs also includes:

In helping to guide the sport in connecting tennis with mainstream thinking about health, wellness and wellbeing practices, the Tennis Health & Wellness Task Force will work with the TIA, USTA and other tennis industry partners.

“We are thrilled to be working with Dr. Groppel and this all-star Task Force,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “Starting with the ‘Top 10 Reasons to Play Tennis,’ we’re looking forward to engaging all our industry partners in continued messages about the benefits of tennis.

Along with his position with the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, Dr. Groppel is the Co-Chair of the Global Alliance for Health & Performance and is Professor of Kinesiology & Community Health at the University of Illinois. He’s addressed the issue of worksite wellness and performance at United Nations and U.S. Congress policy events, and has represented the worksite wellness industry at the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities. He also is the Co-Chair of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Health, Performance & Productivity Study Committee.

On May 18, Dr. Groppel spoke about the importance of physical activity at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C., as part of a panel for the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. In April 2016, also in Washington, Dr. Groppel was instrumental in having the tennis industry become the first sports industry to endorse the new National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP). He also encouraged top U.S. and international tennis officials to sign the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity (part of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity), for which he is the national spokesperson.

Dr. Groppel wrote the book “The Corporate Athlete” on achieving the pinnacle of corporate performance, and he’s been featured in the New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Shape, Fast Company and Huffington Post, among other publications.

About the TIA

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the TOM Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit or call 866-686-3036.