Football as medicine against type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Maysa Vieira de Sousa, João Brito, Magni Mohr, George P. Nassis, Jørn Wulff Helge, Svein Arne Pettersen, Thomas Rostgaard Andersen, Peter Krustrup

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The prevalence of conditions associated with insulin resistance, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, has increased over the past few decades and constitutes a major public-health problem worldwide. Healthy lifestyle behaviours are among the most promising strategies for reducing complications and premature death related to these conditions. In this context, recreational football training has been reported as an effective tool for mitigating the adverse metabolic and cardiovascular effects related to them. In this chapter, we address why and how to prescribe recreational football as exercise therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, since implementing the concept of lifestyle behaviours is important in the prevention and management of disease. In the subsequent sections, we review the impact of football on body composition, physical fitness, modulation of cardiovascular risk, dyslipidaemia and carbohydrate tolerance parameters. The later section of this chapter outlines the impact of lifestyle changes, culminating in the preservation of lean body mass, improvements in musculoskeletal function, and prevention and control of type 2 diabetes. Finally, we suggest future directions for football and diabetes research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFootball as Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationPrescribing Football for Global Health Promotion
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000760729
ISBN (Print)9780367248888
Publication statusPublished - Nov 22 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Health Professions
  • General Medicine


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