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Scientists: Soccer improves health, fitness and social abilities
Date:4/6/2010

Led by Professors Peter Krustrup and Jens Bangsbo from the Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences, University of Copenhagen, the 3-year project covered several intervention studies involving both men, women and children, who were divided into soccer, running and control groups. The results from the studies are so remarkable that the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports are publishing a special edition issue entitled "Football for Health" containing 14 scientific articles from the soccer project on Tuesday 6 April 2010.

Soccer for Health

The researchers studied the physical effects of soccer training for untrained subjects aged 9 to 77 years. The conclusion was clear. Soccer provides broad-spectred health and fitness effects that are at least as pronounced as for running, and in some cases even better.

Study leader Peter Krustrup concludes "Soccer is a very popular team sport that contains positive motivational and social factors that may facilitate compliance and contribute to the maintenance of a physically active lifestyle. The studies presented have demonstrated that soccer training for two-three hours per week causes significant cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal adaptations, independent on gender, age or lack of experience with soccer".

Professor Jens Bangsbo continues: "The effects can be maintained for a long period even with a reduced frequency of training to one to two times one hour a week. Recreational soccer, therefore, appears to be an effective type of training leading to performance improvements and significant beneficial effects to health, including a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases, falls and fractures. In a number of aspects, soccer training appears to be superior to running training. Soccer training can also be used to treat hypertension and it was clearly superior to a standard treatment strategy of physician-guided traditional recommendation
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Contact: Peter Krustrup
pkrustrup@ifi.ku.dk
452-615-4341
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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