Article Text

‘FIFA 11 for Health’ for Europe. II: effect on health markers and physical fitness in Danish schoolchildren aged 10–12 years
  1. Christina Ørntoft1,
  2. Colin W Fuller2,
  3. Malte Nejst Larsen1,
  4. Jens Bangsbo1,
  5. Jiri Dvorak3,4,
  6. Peter Krustrup1,5
  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Colin Fuller Consultancy Ltd, Sutton Bonington, UK
  3. 3FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Zurich, Switzerland
  4. 4Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  5. 5Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Peter Krustrup, Faculty of Science, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, University of Copenhagen, The August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, Copenhagen 2100-Ø, Denmark; pkrustrup{at}


Objectives To evaluate whether a modified ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme for non-communicable diseases had effects on body composition, blood pressure and physical fitness of Danish schoolchildren aged 10–12 years.

Design A cluster-randomised controlled study with 7 intervention and 2 control schools.

Participants 546 Danish 5th grade municipal schoolchildren allocated to an intervention group (IG; n=402: 11.1±0.4 (±SD) years, 150.1±7.0 cm, 41.3±8.4 kg) and a control group (CG; n=144: 11.0±0.5 years, 151.2±7.8 cm, 41.3±9.0 kg).

Intervention As part of the physical education (PE) curriculum, IG carried out 2 weekly 45 min ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ sessions focusing on health issues, football skills and 3v3 games. CG continued regular school PE activities. Measurements of body composition, blood pressure at rest, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children's test (YYIR1C), balance, jump and sprint performance were performed before and after the 11-week study period.

Results During the 11-week study period, systolic blood pressure (−3.5 vs 0.9 mm Hg), mean arterial blood pressure (−1.9 vs 0.4 mm Hg), body mass index (−0.02 vs 0.13 kg/m2) and body fat percentage (−0.83% vs −0.04%) decreased more (p<0.05) in IG than in CG. Within-group improvements (p<0.05) were observed in IG for 20 m sprint (4.09±0.29 to 4.06±0.28 s) and YYIR1C performance (852±464 to 896±517 m), but these changes were not significantly different from CG, and balance or jump performance remained unchanged in both groups.

Conclusions The modified ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme has beneficial effects on body composition and blood pressure for Danish schoolchildren aged 10–12 years, thereby providing evidence that this football-based health education programme can directly impact participants' cardiovascular health profile.

  • Body composition
  • Cardiovascular
  • Children
  • Football
  • Non-communicable disease

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

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  • Abstract in Danish

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.


  • Funding The Danish Football Association; F-MARC; Nordea-fonden.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The Committees on Biomedical Research Ethics for the Capital Region of Denmark ( H-15008117).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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