Broad-spectrum health improvements with one year of soccer training in inactive mildly hypertensive middle-aged women

May-Britt Skoradal, Pál Magni Weihe, Peter Krustrup, Jan Mortensen, Magni Mohr, Jacob Uth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The study tested the hypothesis that long-term soccer training has positive impact on cardiovascular profile, body composition, bone health, and physical capacity in inactive, pre-menopausal women with mild hypertension. The study applied a randomized controlled design in which physically inactive middle-aged women were separated into a soccer training group (n=19; SOC) and a control group (n=12; CON). SOC performed 128±29 (±SD) one-h small-sided soccer training sessions over one year. Blood pressure, body composition, blood lipid profile, and fitness level were determined pre- and post-intervention. Over one year, mean arterial pressure decreased more in SOC than in CON (-5±7 vs +4±5 mmHg; P<.05). Total-body fat mass decreased more (P<.05) in SOC than in CON (-2.5±2.5 vs +0.6±3.2 kg; P<.05), while the change scores for lean body mass were not significantly different in SOC (2.6±2.7 kg) compared to CON (1.1±1.9 kg, P=.09). Over one year, change scores in whole-body bone mineral density (0.004±0.032 vs -0.019±0.026 g·cm2 ) as well as bone mineral content (30±70 vs -39±113 g) were positive in SOC compared to CON (P<.05). Post-intervention plasma triglycerides decreased more (-0.1±0.7 vs +0.2±0.2 mmol·L-1 ) and HDL cholesterol increased more (0.2±0.7 vs -0.2±0.2 mmol·L-1 ) in SOC than in CON (P<.05). Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 1 (122±105 vs 2±21%) and 20-m sprint performance (6±6 vs -1±2%) increased more (P<.05) in SOC than in CON. In conclusion, long-term soccer training resulted in broad-spectrum improvements in the health profile of untrained, pre-menopausal women with mild hypertension, including cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculo-skeletal benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1893-1901
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • association football
  • blood lipid profile
  • blood pressure
  • bone mass
  • fat percentage
  • fitness


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