April 9, 2020

Van community inspired by sportspeople to talk about mental health

Research from the latest Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer has shown that sports stars are helping van drivers to speak out about their own mental health and wellbeing.

Indeed, 80% of respondents said they feel they can talk more openly about their mental health after listening to their sporting heroes open up about their own struggles. This is a positive step for the van community, as 41% said they suffer with stress inside of work, compared to less than a quarter (23%) outside of work.

Sportsmen, sportswomen and athletes inspire 46% of the van community the most, helping to encourage healthier eating (33%), as well as prioritising physical (31%) and mental (27%) wellbeing, with 28% inspired to work harder in their careers.

According to the Business Barometer, which monitors the opinions on more than 2,000 people in van community, the power of sport inspires more than receiving encouragement from parents (33%), partners (20%) and kids (19%).

Sportspeople and athletes (46%) also inspired more than any other profession, including firefighters (23%), doctors (22%), police workers (18%), actors (18%) and singers (16%), with politicians inspiring just 10% of the van community.

Muhammad Ali was cited as the most inspirational athlete, ahead of fellow boxer Tyson Fury.

Top five most inspirational sports stars:
1          Muhammad Ali 15%
2=        Tyson Fury, David Beckham 9%
4          Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill 8%
5          Cristiano Ronaldo 7%

Steve Bridge, managing director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, commented: “Stars of sport can have a positive effect on the public’s mental health and wellbeing by sharing their own stories to highlight that mental health impacts everyone and for some, in very negative and despairing ways. To see how these elite athletes have banished their demons and turned their lowest periods around, clearly helps others and shows that there can be light during dark times.”