Study Shows Soccer Can Improve Health Profile

The American College of Sports Medicine have published research that involved the study of a large group of Spanish junior soccer boys in their pre-puberty years. The study followed these junior soccer boys for more than three years. Those boys who played soccer  or are on a soccer team on a regular basis for at least 3 hours per week were compared to boys who are only involved in regular physical education activities in school, for 45 minutes sessions done twice a week.

A number of health and athletic ability measurements were accumulated during the onset of the study period and during the founding of their conclusion. These categories included anaerobic capacity (energy produced without the need for oxygen), running speed, exerted force during a vertical jump, aerobic maximal power (capacity of the lungs, heart, and blood vessels such as arteries and veins), bone mass, and lean mass.

The study showed that among the junior soccer boys with constant activity levels after three years, the soccer team players exhibited a more positive increase in anaerobic capacity. Their anaerobic capacity was 7 percent greater than the other boys. The soccer team’s total lean body mass was also greater at 6 percent more. Lastly, their total bone mineral density is a whopping 33 percent more than the participants in the control group. On the other hand, the Spanish boys in the less active set had considerably increased their body fat percentage towards the closing stages of the study.

The research also drew attention to the fact that the junior soccer boys’ bone tissue is quicker to respond to exercise or any physical activity during the growth spurt that happens before puberty. The research concluded that the soccer team did not just increase their bone mineral density for the whole body; they unsurprisingly also had greater regional measurements in areas of the body such as the lumbar spine which displayed a 13 percent increase, and the femoral neck in the hip which displayed a 10 percent increase. These noted increases show a statistical relationship between increases in many fitness factors of soccer players such as anaerobic capacity and the force that is exerted or generated when making a jump.

Soccer is an enjoyable team sport that not only keeps players physically fit; it can also be used as a way of dealing with lifestyle related diseases. Boys who play soccer all year round are found to be less of a worrywart compared to other boys while women who play the game help them stay active.

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