Sport and health
Physical inactivity is the primary cause of most non-communicable diseases, which according to WHO is by far the leading cause of death in the world. High-intensity training seems superior to moderate- and low-intensity exercise in causing cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits, and a combination with strength training is recommended. Small-sided recreational football offers an excellent combination of these types of training with high heart rates and a high number of intense actions leading to broad-spectrum health-related improvements in cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness. Small-sided recreational football, especially the concept ‘Football Fitness’, has been shown to be feasible in prevention and treatment for participants across the lifespan independently of gender, training status and technical skills, and can therefore serve as a model for large-scale health-promotion through sports.