Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could soccer give homeless men a health kick?

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Playing street football (soccer) two or three times a week could halve the risk of early death in homeless men. Researchers have shown the positive impact of street football on the fitness of homeless people, a group with typically poor health and low life expectancy.

Playing street football two or three times a week could halve the risk of early death in homeless men. Research led by the Universities of Exeter and Copenhagen, published October 3, shows the positive impact of street football on the fitness of homeless people, a group with typically poor health and low life expectancy.

Homeless people face a much lower-than-average life expectancy, usually as a result of cardiovascular disease. This is thought to be partly down to low aerobic fitness and high levels of hypertension and the fact that homeless people are, on average, more likely to smoke and misuse alcohol and other drugs. While homeless people tend to undertake large amounts of low-intensity physical exercise, through more than 10,000 daily steps of walking, most do not take part in more intensive exercise.

To address this problem, charities and government agencies have tried schemes such as offering gym memberships to homeless people.

For this study, 55 homeless men living in Copenhagen were included in a control group or invited to attend four-a-side football training sessions two to three times a week for 12 weeks. By the end, the aerobic fitness of the football-playing group was improved and their cholesterol, body fat and blood pressure reduced.

The footballers' average maximal oxygen uptake was increased 11 percent (four ml/min/kg bodyweight). Previous scientific studies have suggested that the risk of death decreases by around 50% through this increase in maximal oxygen uptake. Body fat was reduced by an average of 2.5 per cent and LDL-cholesterol by 6.4 per cent.

Lead author Professor Peter Krustrup of the University of Exeter said: "Street football for homeless men is very intense and 12 weeks of training significantly improves the fitness and cardiovascular health profile of these men. We also observed a very high attendance rate, which is promising for future adherence to physical activity."

"Football seems to be a great type of fitness training for most people. Not only does it encourage varied, intense training, it is social and it can be played anywhere."

Collaborating researcher, Professor Merete Nordentoft of the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen, concludes: "There seems to be great potential for improving the quality of many people's lives if local agencies could organise street football groups for homeless people."

The study Short-term Street Soccer Improves Fitness and Cardiovascular Health of Homeless Men is published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Could soccer give homeless men a health kick?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080517.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2011, October 3). Could soccer give homeless men a health kick?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080517.htm
University of Exeter. "Could soccer give homeless men a health kick?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080517.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins