How football training could benefit people with prediabetes

How football training could benefit people with prediabetes

In a recent study, European researchers find that football training could help improve bone health in middle-aged and older people with prediabetes.

People with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have a higher prevalence of osteopenia and bone fractures, so it is essential to develop treatments for them.

Football is a multipurpose sport that combines strength, endurance and high-intensity interval training.

In the current study, the effects of football training on bone health were examined in 55‐ to 70‐year‐old women and men with prediabetes. All of the people had sedentary lifestyles.

Patients were assigned into a football training group and a control group.

Before the study, 73% and 24% were diagnosed with femur osteopenia and osteoporosis, respectively.

The football group performed football training twice weekly 30‐60‐minute sessions in 16 weeks, and both the football group and the control group received professional dietary advice.

The researchers examined all patients’ pre‐ and post‐intervention bone health.

They found that change scores were greater in the football group compared to the control group in leg bone health.

In addition, other bone health markers were improved more in the football group than in the control group.

The researchers concluded that football training provides a powerful osteogenic stimulus and improves bone health in 55‐ to 70‐year‐old women and men diagnosed with prediabetes.

They suggest that football game could have promising training effects and excellent attendance even though the training took place outdoors in winter time.

The game also helped the participants form good relationships, have fun together and many of them continued to play.

The team believes their findings have strong implications for diabetes and prediabetes treatment and control.

The authors include Peter Krustrup, professor of sport and health sciences at the University of Southern Denmark.

Magni Mohr is project leader and associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark. He organised the training and testing in the Faroe Islands.

The study is published in the acclaimed Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

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Figure legend: This image is for illustrative purposes only.
Journal reference: Skoradal M-B, et al. (2018). Osteogenic impact of football training in 55-70-yr-old women and men with prediabetes. SJMSS is published as part of a special issue on the theme ‘Football is Medicine”.