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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7231545, 8 pages
Research Article

Evaluating a Nationwide Recreational Football Intervention: Recruitment, Attendance, Adherence, Exercise Intensity, and Health Effects

1Faculty of Natural and Health Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands, 100 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
2Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3Sport and Health Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, St. Luke’s Campus, EX1 2LU Exeter, UK
4Center for Health and Human Performance, Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden

Received 11 February 2016; Revised 20 April 2016; Accepted 12 May 2016

Academic Editor: Leonardo dos Santos

Copyright © 2016 Liljan av Fløtum et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study evaluated a nationwide exercise intervention with Football Fitness in a small-scale society. In all, 741 adult participants (20–72 yrs) were successfully recruited for Football Fitness training in local football clubs, corresponding to 2.1% of the adult population. A preintervention test battery including resting heart rate (RHR), blood pressure, and body mass measurements along with performance tests (Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance level 1 (Yo-Yo IE1), the Arrowhead Agility Test, and the Flamingo Balance Test) were performed (). Training attendance () was 1.6 ± 0.2 sessions per week (range: 0.6–2.9), corresponding to 28.8 ± 1.0 sessions during the 18 wk intervention period. After 18 wks mean arterial pressure (MAP) was −2.7 ± 0.7 mmHg lower (; ) with even greater () reductions for those with baseline MAP values >99 mmHg (−5.6 ± 1.5 mmHg; ). RHR was lowered () by 6 bpm after intervention (77 ± 1 to 71 ± 1 bpm). Yo-Yo IE1 performance increased by 41% (540 ± 27 to 752 ± 45 m), while agility and postural balance were improved () by ~6 and ~45%, respectively. In conclusion, Football Fitness was shown to be a successful health-promoting nationwide training intervention for adult participants with an extraordinary recruitment, a high attendance rate, moderate adherence, high exercise intensity, and marked benefits in cardiovascular health profile and fitness.