Nav: Home

New meta-analysis: Recreational football is broad-spectrum medicine

January 24, 2018

It is now well-established that physical fitness and resting heart rate are a strong mortality predictors and that exercise training is a cornerstone in the non-pharmacological prevention and treatment of lifestyle diseases including, for example, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

It is also known that endurance running improves metabolic fitness, that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves cardiovascular fitness and that strength training improves musculoskeletal fitness. However, so far less information has been available about the role of sports as training for patients.

In 2015 two meta-analyses highlighted that the best evidence for health effects of sports was found for football and running. The new meta-analysis being published on Friday January 26 in British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), the highest ranked sports medicine journal, concludes that football training is an effective and multifaceted training type with a great potential for simultaneous broad-spectrum improvements in cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness.

"After 10 years of research, the evidence is now sufficiently strong to state that football is medicine", says Peter Krustrup, Professor and Head of the Sport and Health Sciences Research Unit, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and continues: "Football is broad-spectrum medicine for patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases".

The new BJSM meta-analysis was conducted in collaboration between associate professor Zoran Milanovic and his team at the University of Nis, Serbia, and Peter Krustrup and his team at SDU in Denmark. The facts are that 3-6 months of 1 hour football training twice a week increases maximal oxygen uptake by 3.51 mL/min/kg and jump performance by 2.3 cm and lowers fat mass by 1.72 kg, LDL cholesterol by 0.21 mmol/L and resting heart rate by 6.0 beats/min for untrained men and women aged 18-75 years, and lowers blood pressure by 11/7 mmHg for 30-70-year-old patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension.

"The results from our meta-analysis clearly emphasize that football training is an intense, effective and versatile type of training that combines HIIT-training, endurance training and strength training", Peter Krustrup explains.

"The most prominent results are that short-term football training is as effective as drugs against high blood pressure and as effective as HIIT-training in terms of increasing aerobic fitness. Together these effects lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by more than 50% and may considerably lower the risk of death. In addition, there are multiple positive effects on body composition and lipid profile, making football a very attractive type of broad-spectrum non-pharmacological intervention against lifestyle diseases", professor Krustrup concludes.

The type of football used in the 31 scientific studies does not look like the type of football played on TV. Peter Krustrup and his team are recommending small-sided football training rather than competitive games, as the injury risk is only 1/5 to 1/12 during training compared to games. A concept like Football Fitness, which is an evidence-based Danish concept, comprises a thorough warm-up including strength, balance and dribbling exercises, followed by drills and small-sided games, for example 5v5 on small pitches. No competitive matches are played. This is a type of football that can be played by all, regardless of age, gender, level of football experience and physical fitness. Worldwide an estimated 500 million people play football on a regular basis, of which 300 million are registered football club members.

The results from 10 years of research into the fitness and health effects of football will be presented at the 1st international "Football is Medicine" conference in Lisbon 25-26 January, 2018. The 30 presentations include recent results on the use of recreational football for 70-85-year-old women, men with prostate cancer, women after breast cancer, 50-70-year-old women with osteopenia and men with Parkinson's disease. The conference is organised by the Portuguese FA, with the University of Southern Denmark, the Danish FA and UEFA as partners. The Vice President of the Danish FA, Bent Clausen, will present the Football Fitness concept which is currently offered in 325 Danish and Faroese football clubs.
-end-


University of Southern Denmark Faculty of Health Sciences

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
by Jason Fung (Author), Nina Teicholz (Foreword)

Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me
by Adam Brown (Author), Kelly L. Close (Foreword)

Diabetes For Dummies
by Alan L. Rubin (Author)

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs
by Neal Barnard (Author)

Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book
by Mayo Clinic (Author)

The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
by Joel Fuhrman M.D. (Author)

Managing Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies
by American Diabetes Association (Author)

What Do I Eat Now?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Right with Type 2 Diabetes
by Patti B. Geil R.D. (Author), Tami A. Ross R.D. (Author)

Goodbye, Pills & Needles: A Total Re-Think of Type II Diabetes. And A 90 Day Cure
by Tom Jelinek PhD (Author)

Diabetic Living Diabetes Meals by the Plate: 90 Low-Carb Meals to Mix & Match
by Diabetic Living Editors (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".