Dan Treadway
Thursday April 17th, 2014

You know that moment when your team makes a big shot and you feel so much happiness that you might die? Well, there's a reason for that.

Barclays recently commissioned a study, carried out by the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), that determined that the hearts of die-hard fans work harder than those playing for their team at key moments during matches.

Supporters at several locations wore devices to measure their heart rates as they watched a weekend of Premier League football (which is sponsored by Barclays).

The results found that an average supporters’ heart rate increased to 145.5 percent of its resting level when their team conceded a goal, and to 215.5 per cent when their team scored.

According to a study conducted in 1991, the mean heart rate of a forward playing semi-professional soccer was 172.

While heart rates for players are more likely to build gradually with anticipation and general physical exertion, fans often experience a sudden rush all at once.

Dr John Perrins, a consultant cardiologist for the study attributed the results to fans being, you know, not all that in shape. “Athletes are so much fitter their heart rate and blood pressure respond more slowly to exercise," he said. "The actual heart stress -- increase in heart rate and blood pressure -- experienced by the fan could actually be greater than the player’s.” So the overall lesson here: Maybe go for a quick jog before watching the big game. Or after. Or maybe just go for a jog anytime.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.