Soccer helps build strong bones during growth: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- 376 Downloads
The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of soccer practice on bone in male and female children and adolescents. MEDLINE, PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science databases were searched for scientific articles published up to and including October 2016. Twenty-seven studies were included in this systematic review (13 in the meta-analysis). The meta-analysis was performed by using OpenMeta[Analyst] software. It is well documented that soccer practice during childhood provides positive effects on bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD) compared to sedentary behaviors and other sports, such as tennis, weightlifting, or swimming. Furthermore, soccer players present higher BMC and BMD in most weight-bearing sites such as the whole body, lumbar spine, hip, and legs. Moreover, bone differences were minimized between groups during prepuberty. Therefore, the maturity status should be considered when evaluating bone. According to meta-analysis results, soccer practice was positively associated with whole-body BMD either in males (mean difference 0.061; 95%CI, 0.042–0.079) or in females (mean difference 0.063; 95%CI, 0.026–0.099).
What is known:
• It has been described that childhood and adolescence are important periods for bone mass and structure.
• Previous studies have demonstrated that soccer participation improves bone mass in male and female children and adolescents.
What is new:
• The differences between soccer players and controls are more marked during puberty than prepuberty.
• Weight-bearing sites such as lumbar spine, hip, femoral neck, trochanter, intertrochanteric region and both legs are particularly sensitive to soccer actions.
KeywordsFootball Sports Bone mass Bone tissue
Bone mineral content
Bone mineral density
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
Peripheral quantitative computed tomography
Quantitative ultrasound system
Single photon absorptiometry
World Health Organization
All the authors have been actively involved in the planning and enactment of the study. JAC and GVR were the main researchers in the present study, and GLB was the first author. AML, AGA, AGB, and AGC were co-researchers. GLB and AML independently evaluated all studies, and AGA resolved inter-reviewer disagreements. GLB drafted the document, and AML, AGA, AGB, AGC, GVR and JAC critically reviewed the document. All authors have read and approved of the manuscript.
This work was funded by the Spanish “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” (Project DEP 2012-32724). GLB received a Grant FPU 2013 (FPU13/02111) from the “Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte”. AML received a Grant (AP2012/02854) from the “Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.” AGB received a Grant FPI 2012 (bes-2012-051888) from the “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.”
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
- 1.Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Chen Z, Gunn SK, Wilde M, Darlington G, Shypailo RJ, Ellis KJ (2005) Vitamin D receptor Fok1 polymorphisms affect calcium absorption, kinetics, and bone mineralization rates during puberty. J Bone Mineral Res 20(6):945–953. https://doi.org/10.1359/jbmr.050114 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 2.Agostinete RR, Lynch KR, Gobbo LA, Lima MC, Ito IH, Luiz-de-Marco R, Rodrigues-Junior MA, Fernandes RA (2016) Basketball affects bone mineral density accrual in boys more than swimming and other impact sports: 9-mo follow-up. J Clin Densitom 19(3):375–381. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocd.2016.04.006 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 5.Bailey DA, McKay HA, Mirwald RL, Crocker PR, Faulkner RA (1999) A six-year longitudinal study of the relationship of physical activity to bone mineral accrual in growing children: the university of Saskatchewan bone mineral accrual study. J Bone Miner Res 14(10):1672–1679. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828cb712 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 7.Bellew JW, Gehrig L (2006) A comparison of bone mineral density in adolescent female swimmers, soccer players, and weight lifters. Pediatr Phys Ther 18(1):19–22. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.pep.0000200952.63544.16 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 8.Cooper C, Atkinson EJ, Jacobsen SJ, O'Fallon WM, Melton LJ (1993) Population-based study of survival after osteoporotic fractures. Am J Epidemiol 137(9):1001–1005. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116756 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 9.Crabtree NJ, Arabi A, Bachrach LK, Fewtrell M, El-Hajj Fuleihan G, Kecskemethy HH, Jaworski M, Gordon CM (2014) Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry interpretation and reporting in children and adolescents: the revised 2013 ISCD Pediatric Official Positions. J Clin Densitom 17(2):225–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocd.2014.01.003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 11.Ferry B, Duclos M, Burt L, Therre P, Le Gall F, Jaffre C, Courteix D (2011) Bone geometry and strength adaptations to physical constraints inherent in different sports: comparison between elite female soccer players and swimmers. J Bone Miner Metab 29(3):342–351. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00774-010-0226-8 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Julian-Almarcegui C, Gomez-Cabello A, Huybrechts I, Gonzalez-Aguero A, Kaufman JM, Casajus JA, Vicente-Rodriguez G (2015) Combined effects of interaction between physical activity and nutrition on bone health in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Nutr Rev 73(3):127–139. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuu065 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 24.Nebigh A, Rebai H, Elloumi M, Bahlous A, Zouch M, Zaouali M, Alexandre C, Sellami S, Tabka Z (2009) Bone mineral density of young boy soccer players at different pubertal stages: relationships with hormonal concentration. Joint Bone Spine 76(1):63–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbspin.2008.03.002 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 28.Pettersson U, Nordstrom P, Alfredson H, Henriksson-Larsen K, Lorentzon R (2000) Effect of high impact activity on bone mass and size in adolescent females: a comparative study between two different types of sports. Calcif Tissue Int 67(3):207–214. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002230001131 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 29.Plaza-Carmona M, Ubago-Guisado E, Sánchez-Sánchez J, Felipe JL, Fernández-Luna A, García-Unanue J, Burillo P, Gallardo L (2013) Body composition and physical fitness in prepubertal girls swimmers and soccer players. JSHR 5(3):251–258Google Scholar
- 43.Vicente-Rodriguez G, Ara I, Perez-Gomez J, Serrano-Sanchez JA, Dorado C, Calbet JA (2004) High femoral bone mineral density accretion in prepubertal soccer players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36(10):1789–1795. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.0000142311.75866.D7 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 45.Villareal DT, Fontana L, Weiss EP, Racette SB, Steger-May K, Schechtman KB, Klein S, Holloszy JO (2006) Bone mineral density response to caloric restriction-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 166(22):2502–2510. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.166.22.2502 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 46.Vlachopoulos D, Barker AR, Williams CA, Arngrimsson SA, Knapp KM, Metcalf BS, Fatouros IG, Moreno LA, Gracia-Marco L (2017) The impact of sport participation on bone mass and geometry in adolescent males. Med Sci Sports Exerc 49(2):317–326. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000001091 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar