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‘FIFA 11 for Health’ for Europe. 1: effect on health knowledge and well-being of 10- to 12-year-old Danish school children
  1. Colin W Fuller1,
  2. Christina Ørntoft2,
  3. Malte Nejst Larsen2,
  4. Anne-Marie Elbe2,
  5. Laila Ottesen2,
  6. Astrid Junge3,4,
  7. Jiri Dvorak3,4,
  8. Peter Krustrup2,5
  1. 1Colin Fuller Consultancy Ltd, Sutton Bonington, UK
  2. 2Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Zurich, Switzerland
  4. 4Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  5. 5Sport and Health Sciences, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Colin W Fuller, Colin Fuller Consultancy Ltd., Main Street, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, LE12 5PE, UK; ColinFullerConsultancy{at}


Aim To modify the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme to the European situation, and to assess its effects on health knowledge and well-being in Danish school children.

Method A two-cohort study with seven intervention and two control schools. Of the 546 Danish children (boys 269; girls 277) of mean age 11.1 (±0.4) years from five city and four country-side schools, 402 undertook the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme and 144 acted as controls. As part of each school's PE curriculum, seven intervention schools received a 45 min Play Football period (football skills and 3 vs 3 games) and a 45 min Play Fair period (health issues and football drills) on a weekly-basis for 11 weeks. Control participants continued with their regular school PE activities. Participants completed preintervention and postintervention health knowledge and well-being questionnaires.

Results Overall, health knowledge increase was significantly (p<0.05) greater for the intervention group (11.9%) than the control group (2.6%). Significant (p<0.05) between-group differences were obtained for 8 of 10 health topics (6.1–20.2%) related to physical activity, nutrition, hygiene and well-being. The social dimension of the well-being questionnaire was significantly (p<0.05) improved in the intervention group compared to the control group, but there were no significant between-group effects for the physical, emotional and school dimensions. Positive reporting about the programme was given by 72.4% of the children and only 4.8% reported negatively.

Conclusions The ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme modified for Europe demonstrated positive effects on children's health knowledge and social dimension of well-being, thereby providing evidence that the football-based health education programme can be used effectively within a European school's curriculum to increase physical activity, well-being and health knowledge.

  • Non-communicable disease
  • Physical activity
  • Food intake
  • Football
  • Health

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