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Published on October 25th, 2012


The Top 10 Sports for a Social Scientist

When writing a CV it is always a good thing to include a sport under the heading “interests.” Popular Social Science has had a look at which sports a social scientist should participate in. There are three main criteria for the ranking: (a) career importance; (b) health benefit; and (c) fun.


# 10 – Jogging (12 points)

Career = 4, Health = 6, Fun = 2

Jogging or running is a very popular leisure time activity. It is not the most exiting sport you can put on your CV, but there are health benefits. Make sure you are careful on asphalt (hurts knees) and do not “run until you drop”. Also not the most fun sport, but can be combined with nature and music.


# 9 – Rugby Union (13 points)

Career = 4, Health = 3, Fun = 6

If you are considering any of the two rugby formats, you must definitely go for Rugby Union. This version is a middle/upper class sport, and is only recommended career-wise if you are scholar in a Commonwealth country. Great exercise, but naturally there is a great risk of getting injured.


# 8 - Cricket (15 points)

Career = 7, Health = 3, Fun = 5

Cricket is a very socially acceptable sport (again in the Commonwealth). It is not the greatest sport health-wise, though it requires both stamina and strength. It can at times be very fun, but one cannot hide the fact that it is very time consuming (and time is gold for the up-and-coming social scientist.


# 7 – Rock climbing (17 points)

Career = 6, Health = 4, Fun = 7

Rock climbing is a popular sport among certain segments of academia, and is thus socially acceptable. However, with regard to health there are both pros and cons. This sport will really get especially your arms and back in shape, however there is a great risk for injuries and accidents. It combines exercise with nature experiences.


# 6 – Cycling (18 points)

Career = 6, Health = 7, Fun =  5

Cycling is gaining popularity, especially in the summer (when Tour de France is taking place). It is an acceptable sport which provides good exercise (though some risks if you cycle on the motor road).


#5 – Football/Soccer (19 points)

Career = 3, Health = 7, Fun = 9

Football is the world’s number 1 sport. Previously considered a bit working-class, it has over the recent decades become acceptable for the middle class as well. There are a lot of injuries in this game. The game mimics interval exercise, and is thus extremely effective for getting into shape. It is also a social game.


# 4 – Squash/Racquetball (20 points)

Career = 5, Health = 8, Fun = 7

Squash or racquetball (the latter is common in the US) is similar to football in that it is a sort of interval exercise. These are fast games with lots of action. The only major health risk can be avoided by wearing protective glasses.


# 3 – Golf (21 points)

Career = 10, Health = 5, Fun =6

This is the best sport to put on your CV. Several important social scientists enjoy a game of golf, and it provides a great opportunity for an informal meeting with colleagues. It is a good exercise and can be played by people of all ages.


# 2 – Alpine/cross-country (22 points)

Career = 6, Health = 10, Fun = 6

This category includes several sports. The alpine variants are great fun, though a risk of breaking limbs. Cross-country is the softer variant, and is perhaps one of the greatest all-round training methods. Of course, skiing requires access to snow.


# 1 – Tennis (23 points)

Career = 8, Health = 7, Fun = 8

Tennis is declared the winner of this competition. It is a great career move: socially acceptable and popular among important social scientists. Health-wise it is a good all-round exercise, and on top of it tennis is a social and fun game. So invite your boss for a good game of tennis, just make sure you don’t beat him.


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