Sarmento, Manuel Clemente, Marques, Milanovic, David Harper, Figueiredo (2020) Recreational football is medicine against non-communicable diseases: A systematic review Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 30(4) 618-637


The purpose of this research was to conduct a systematic review of published articles related to the effect of recreational football on non-communicable diseases. A systematic review of Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE, and PubMed databases was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. Only empirical studies were included. There were no restrictions on the types of study design eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome measures result from the potential effects of recreational football on non-communicable diseases (eg, blood pressure, bone density, LDL cholesterol, and fat mass). A total of 44 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included. Recreational football is shown to: (a) decrease blood pressure and resting heart rate, improve cardiac structure and functioning, as well as increase maximal oxygen uptake in both sexes; (b) reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and have a positive impact on glycemic control; (c) improve bone mineralization, increase both bone mineral density and content, as well as acting as a stimulus for osteogenesis; and (d) be clearly beneficial for bone health, while slightly beneficial for body composition, muscle strength, and maximal oxygen uptake in adults with prostate cancer. The present systematic review demonstrated the benefits of recreational football practice on non-communicable diseases related to cardiovascular and bone health, body composition, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer. The effectiveness of recreational football on the aforementioned diseases may be related to age and gender; however, further research is required. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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