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 from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.