Positive results are being reported from the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) to investigate the osteogenic effect of recreational football training in men and women with prediabetes.
The trial included 50 sedentary men and women aged 55 to 70 years. Dietary advice was given to all participants before they were subsequently randomised to a football training group (FTG; n=27) or a control group (CON; n=23). Those in the FTG performed twice weekly 30-60-minute football training sessions over 16 weeks.
Pre- and post-intervention whole-body and regional bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD) were determined with DXA-scans, and venous blood samples were drawn and analysed for plasma bone turnover markers.
The authors identified between-group changes in favour of FTG in femur neck BMD and femur shaft BMD. Change scores were greater in FTG compared to CON in leg BMD and in leg BMC. Plasma osteocalcin and P1NP were elevated in the football group, with greater changes than in the control group.
The authors said as the bone adaptations occurred independent of gender, the study demonstrates that mixed-gender football training provides an efficient stimulus in both genders.