16 June 2010

Football keeps men healthy

Football Researcher

Peter Krustrup, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences, has spent many years researching the health effects of football as a form of fitness. Today, he receives the Men's Health Award. The award is given in connection with Men's Health Week, which this year focuses on men, body and diet.

Football helps prevent lifestyle diseases

Krustrup and his international research team have through well-documented research (supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Football Association, and FIFA) shown that football as an exercise is an effective weapon against lifestyle diseases. This makes Peter Krustrup an obvious recipient of the award. FodboldHis work has proven that football helps fight obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis as well as high blood pressure.

- "I'm extremely happy to receive this award and I regard it as a huge pat on the back for the department and the whole international research team," says Krustrup, adding that seven years of research has culminated in the publishing of 20 scientific articles, all of which focus on the health effects of playing soccer seen from a physiological, psychological and sociological angle.

Better health for men

The results of Krustrup and his team's work are fantastic to highlight during a year of the World Cup. The results bring an important perspective to men's health. So many men have enjoyed playing the game of football. Therefore, football is a wonderful opportunity for close to half of the male population to get the exercise that they need. Football can indeed be an important step towards lowering men's excess mortality because of physical inactivity.

- "By communicating that physically inactive grown-ups can get into shape and better their health through a fun filled team sport such as football, we can hopefully motivate a whole bunch of men to bring out their football boots from the back of their closet. And we can hopefully also motivate many of the health politicians to promote a wider range of preventive treatments in the future," says Krustrup.

Football popular everywhere

Football is extremely flexible as a form of fitness. It can be played in the local neighbourhood, in clubs and at one’s workplace. Krustrup has in fact been a part of a newly launched initiative to bring football to the workplace.

The award

The award itself is a small statuette created by artist Keld Moseholm. The statuette has been specifically designed for the Men's Health Week.