• Stars from the world of sport are making it more acceptable for the van community to speak about their mental health and wellbeing, more than any profession in the UK. according to research from Mercedes-Benz Vans UK.

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

    Sportsmen, sportswomen and athletes inspired 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 Mercedes-Benz Vans 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%).  Politicians inspired just 10% of the van community.

    Top five most inspirational sports stars were:

    Muhammad Ali                    15%
    Tyson Fury                             9%
    David Beckham                     9%
    Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill       8%
    Cristiano Ronaldo                 7%

    “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,” Steve Bridge, the MD of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, said.  “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.”