Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Soccer burns more fat than jogging

The experiment

ports scientist Peter Krustrup and his colleagues from the University of Copenhagen, the Copenhagen University Hospital and Bispebjerg Hospital have followed a soccer team consisting of 14 untrained men aged 20 to 40 years. For a period of 3 months, the players have been subjected to a number of tests such as fitness ratings, total mass of muscles, percentage of fat, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and balance.

Surprising results

- 2-3 weekly rounds of soccer practise, of the duration of app. 1 hour, released massive health and training benefits. Their percentage of fat went down, the total mass of muscle went up, their blood pressure fell and their fitness ratings improved significantly. Everything we tested improved, says Peter Krustrup.

In parallel with the soccer-experiment, the research group did the same tests on a group of joggers as well as on a passive control group. The joggers also trained 2-3 times a week, but their efforts showed smaller effect than that of the soccer players.

- It is healthy to run long distances in a moderate speed, but the results show that soccer practise is better in a number of ways. The improvement in fitness rating and the increase in total muscle mass were greater in the soccer players, and during the last 8 weeks of the experiment, only the soccer-players showed any improvement, Peter Krustrup says.

After 12 weeks, the soccer players had lost 3.5 kilos of fat and gained more than 2 kilos of extra muscle mass, whereas the joggers had lost 2 kilos of fat and showed no change in total muscle mass. Both groups showed significant improvements in blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and balance.

The sports scientist believes that it is the shifts between walking, running and sprinting that causes the soccer players to experience better health improvements.

- I think that is part of the secret. Soccer is an all-round form of practise because it both keeps the pulse up and has many high-intensity actions. When you sprint, jump and tackle your opponents, you use all the fibres in your muscles. When you jog at a moderate pace, you only use the slow fibres, says Peter Krustrup.

Fun takes focus from pain

During the process, the participants were asked how hard the practise was, and the feedback makes Peter Krustrup smile. The soccer players expressed that they did not find the practise particularly hard. The joggers always said the opposite.

- The joggers always found it hard. Even though they moved at the same average speed as the soccer-players, it was harder on them. I think it is owed to the fact that when you jog you focus on yourself. You notice the efforts and the breathlessness. And then you start to feel a little sorry for your self, says Peter Krustrup and continues:

- When you play soccer, you push those thoughts aside. The players are caught up in the game and they don’t notice that their hearts are pounding. It is fun, and the team needs all players to contribute and so they forget that it is hard. That is also happends to be very good exercise is an additional bonus.

International fight against lifestyle related diseases

The results have encouraged the researchers to continue the research from a physiological angle. The team has made arrangements of cooperation with universities in Rome, Brussel and Liverpool, and they are applying for funding through the EU, UEFA and FIFA.

Peter Krustrup sees large perspectives in soccer at exercise level in a time of lifestyle-related diseases. When a pleasureable and popular team-sport such as soccer turns out to be so beneficiary, it would make sense to consider that sport in the national and international efforts to prevent and treat lifestyle-related diseases.

- In the fight against obesity and inactivity, soccer seems to be an obvious alternative to jogging and fitness. Soccer is a popular sport in large parts of the population, and experience tells us that there are good chances of growing a permanent affiliation with a sport when it is both fun and combined you’re your social life, says Krustrup and continues:

- It really doesn’t take a lot. A lawn, two goalposts and a ball is all you need to begin a health-promoting training programme for 22 people.

The international cooperation will continue research in soccer at exercise level for various age groups. The researchers also consider examining other sports such as handball, volleyball and basketball.

Facts about the project:

For a period of 12 weeks, a group of soccer players and joggers have been active for for one hour 2-3 times a week. The participants have been continuingly subjected to tests: fitness rating, percentage of bodyfat, total mass of muscles, cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and balance.

The project has received 500,000 Dkr in funding from the Danish Ministry of Culture’s committee for sports science.

Peter Krustrup | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>