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 April 23, 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 April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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