More than 10 per cent of those surveyed by Sport England claimed they were already more involved in sport after being inspired by Team GB's success, while a further 15 per cent said they are interested in doing more sport.
In total, 71 per cent of respondents said they enjoyed a 'feel good' factor as a result of British performances at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, said that the results were evidence of the important role sport plays in British life.
He said: "This research demonstrates what I believe is a great strength for London's bid - the UK's passion for sport.
"Sport drives so much of what we are about as a nation, what we feel, what we talk about, what we care about. Sport matters."
Gail Emms, who won a badminton silver medal in Athens, said she had no doubt of the effect her success has had for the sport.
She said: "Badminton now has a new following and I have received numerous letters and emails since the Games from people telling me they were off to have a go!"
Roger Draper, Chief Executive of Sport England, said the research backed the organisation's belief that elite sport events provide a boost for participation at all levels.
He said: "This research confirms what we already believed - that major international sporting events have a significant impact on boosting the public's positive perceptions about sport.
"From the success achieved by our athletes at both the 2002 Commonwealth Games and again in Athens, we can clearly see the positive impact through people now taking up sport and others planning to do so in the near future.
"Following the positive results of this survey we look forward to seeing more people getting off the couch and onto the track."
In addition, feedback received by Sport England has suggested the impact on participation would be even greater if London were to host the 2012 Games.
The governing bodies representing 11 Olympic sports said that they expected active participation to double or even triple if London's bid was successful.
Every sport contacted by Sport England reported an increase in enquiries from the public and the media during the period surrounding the Athens Games.
20 October 2004