Recreational Soccer, Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Health: A Training-Intervention Study in Healthy Adolescents

Marios Hadjicharalambous, Nikolaos Zaras, Andreas Apostolidis, Fotini Tsofliou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recreational soccer (RS) is widely used for adolescents as a physical activity method. However, its impact on physical fitness, body composition and metabolic health in adolescents has not been extensively examined yet. The purpose of the present study was to examine the contribution of changes in body fatness and aerobic capacity to modifications in circulating blood lipids profile, following 8-weeks of RS in healthy youth. Fifty-three healthy male adolescents were separated in three groups: one performed RS (3 times x 60 min/week); the other two were served as control groups [soccer-specific training (SST) one and inactive one]. Physical fitness, body composition and blood lipids and glucose responses were evaluated before and after 8-weeks of exercise intervention. Post-intervention body weight and body fat percentage (BF%) were lowered, while physical fitness was improved (p < 0.05) in SST group only. High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was higher (n2 =.378) and total cholesterol (TC)/HDL-C ratio was lower (n2 =.195) in the SST group relative to RS and inactive groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, although RS may improve aerobic capacity, relative to inactive control group, it does not influence body fatness and cardiometabolic health in adolescents. Consequently, RS may not secure health benefit during the crucial transition period from adolescence to adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-533
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Blood Metabolites
  • Body Composition
  • Health
  • Physical Fitness


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