Training intensity and health effects of football were investigated gender specifically in individuals with prediabetes.
Participants with prediabetes (age 60 ± 6 years) were randomised into a football and dietary advice group (FD-men n = 13 and FD-women n = 14) or a dietary advice only group (D-men n = 12 and D-women n = 11). FD performed football training (twice/week for 16 weeks), while both groups received dietary advice. Body composition, bone variables, blood pressure, blood lipid profile and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) were determined pre- and post-intervention.
Mean heart rate during football training was 79 ± 2 and 80 ± 3% HRmax for FD-men and FD-women, respectively, with peak heart rate values of 96 ± 1 and 97 ± 2% HRmax, with no gender differences. VO2peak increased more (P < 0.05) in FD-men and FD-women than in D-men and D-women. However, relative delta change in VO2peak was 21 ± 14% in FD-women, which was greater (P < 0.05) than in FD-men (11 ± 12%). Reduction in SBP and DBP, respectively, was similar in FD-men (− 10.8 ± 13.0 and − 7.3 ± 11.8 mmHg) and FD-women (− 11.3 ± 11.0 and − 7.1 ± 6.2 mmHg), with within-gender differences for men. Total plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased (P < 0.05) by − 0.7 ± 1.1 and − 0.5 ± 0.9 mmol L−1, respectively, in FD-women and − 0.2 ± 0.4 and − 0.2 ± 0.3 mmol L−1 in FD-men, with no significant gender differences (P = 0.08). Body fat content was lowered (P < 0.05) by 3 and 4%-points in FD-men and FD-women, respectively.
Gender-mixed football training combined with dietary advice causes broad-spectrum health effects for men and women with prediabetes, with minor gender-specific differences. Thus, the intensity and training-induced effects of football training are also high for elderly women with prediabetes.
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Analysis of variance
Bone turnover markers
Bone mineral content
Bone mineral density
Diastolic blood pressure
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
Football and diet men
Football and diet women
Impaired fasting glycaemia
Impaired glucose tolerance
Lean body mass
- L2, L3 and L4:
Mean arterial pressure
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
- VO2peak :
Peak oxygen uptake
Procollagen type I N propeptide
Randomized Controlled Trial
Resting heart rate
Systolic blood pressure
Type II diabetes mellitus
- VO2max :
Maximal oxygen uptake
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We would like to express our appreciation of the outstanding efforts and positive attitude of the participants. In addition, we are extremely grateful for the technical assistance provided by Sólfríð Skoradal, Jan Poulsen, Annika Gleðisheygg, Hjalti Gleðisheygg, Charlotta Nielsen, Brandur Jacobsen, Johild Dulavík, Hildigunn Steinholm, Ivy Hansen, Gunnrið Jóannesarson, Ann Østerø, Nina Djurhuus, Ebba Andreassen, Maud av Fløtum, Súsanna Olsen, Synøva Hansen, Ronnie Midjord, Noomi Holm, Virgar Hvidbro, Guðrið Andorsdóttir, and Jens Jung Nielsen. We would also like to thank Prof. Pál Weihe, Prof. Jann Mortensen, PhD-student Poula Patursson, and MD Jens Andreassen for their invaluable support. The study was supported by a grant from the Faroese Research Council (Sjúkrakassagrunnurin), as well as by the Faroese Football Association (Fótbóltssamband Føroya; FSF) and the Faroese Diabetes Organisation (Diabetesfelag Føroya).
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Communicated by Massimo Pagani.
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Mohr, M., Skoradal, MB., Andersen, T.R. et al. Gender-dependent evaluation of football as medicine for prediabetes. Eur J Appl Physiol 119, 2011–2024 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04188-5
- Fat percentage
- Blood pressure
- Cardiometabolic fitness