Evaluating a nationwide recreational football intervention: Recruitment, attendance, adherence, exercise intensity, and health effects

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The present study evaluated a nationwide exercise intervention with Football Fitness in a small-scale society. In all, 741 adult participants (20–72 yrs) were successfully recruited for Football Fitness training in local football clubs, corresponding to 2.1% of the adult population. A preintervention test battery including resting heart rate (RHR), blood pressure, and body mass measurements along with performance tests (Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance level 1 (Yo-Yo IE1), the Arrowhead Agility Test, and the Flamingo Balance Test) were performed (푛 = 502). Training attendance (푛 = 310) was 1.6 ± 0.2 sessions per week (range: 0.6–2.9), corresponding to 28.8 ± 1.0 sessions during the 18 wk intervention period. After 18wks mean arterial pressure (MAP) was −2.7 ± 0.7mmHg lower (푃 < 0.05; 푛 = 151)with even greater (푃 <0.05) baseline for map reductions those values with>99mmHg (−5.6 ± 1.5mmHg; 푛 = 50). RHR was lowered (푃 < 0.05) by 6 bpm after intervention (77 ± 1 to71 ± 1 bpm). Yo-Yo IE1 performance increased by 41% (540 ± 27 to 752 ± 45 m), while agility and postural balance were improved (푃 < 0.05) by ∼6 and ∼45%, respectively. In conclusion, Football Fitness was shown to be a successful health-promoting nationwide training intervention for adult participants with an extraordinary recruitment, a high attendance rate, moderate adherence, high exercise intensity, and marked benefits in cardiovascular health profile and fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7231545
JournalBioMed Research International
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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