Walking football as sustainable exercise for older adults – A pilot investigation


The health benefits of playing football and the importance of exercise and social contact for healthy ageing are well established, but few older adults in the UK take enough exercise. Football is popular, flexible in format and draws players into engrossing, effortful and social exercise, but the physical demands of play at full speed may make it unsustainable for some older adults. Restricted to walking pace, will play still be engaging? Will health benefits be retained? Will physical demands remain manageable? This pilot study aims to investigate: (1) the experience of older adults playing walking football every week, is it sustainable and rewarding, (2) the intensity and locomotor pattern of walking football, (3) the scale and nature of walking football health benefits and (4) possible cognitive benefits of playing walking football through measures of processing speed, selective and divided attention and updating and inhibition components of executive function.
 ‘Walking football’ and ‘waiting list’ groups were compared before and after 12 weeks of one-hour per week football. Walking football was found to be engaging, sustainable for older adults and moderately intensive; however, selective health and cognitive benefits were not found from this brief intervention.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2017.1298671
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences > Cell & Tissue Biomedical Research
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Sport Science on 19/3/17, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17461391.2017.1298671
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing,cognition,exercise,health,team sport,Orthopedics and Sports Medicine,Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Publication ISSN: 1536-7290
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 07:05
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 08:15
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-03-19
Accepted Date: 2017-03-08
Authors: Reddy, Peter (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0623-5359)
Dias, Irundika (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-6620-8221)
Holland, Carol (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1846-8897)
Campbell, Niyah
Nagar, Iaysha
Connolly, Luke
Krustrup, Peter
Hubball, Harry



Version: Accepted Version

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