D.D.A. Salle1, D.P. Heil FACSM2

1 Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia; 2 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

The Walking Fùtball (Soccer) for Healthy Asia program was initiated in 2017 to encourage Singaporean (SNG) and Malaysian (MYS) women to adopt a more physically active lifestyle by training and competing in a walking soccer league. PURPOSE: This study characterized the cardiovascular (CV) exercise intensity of players using telemetry-based heart rate (HR) monitors. We hypothesized that HR responses for the well-trained MYS team would be higher and more consistent during the matches versus the less trained SNG team. METHODS: A series of matches were played in Singapore in November of 2017 that included the SNG and MYS teams each playing two successive matches. Each match started at the top of the hour with 20 mins for both first (H1) and second halves (H2), 10 mins for half-time, and about 20 mins between matches. An outdoor regulation mid-sized walking soccer field (40 m x 23 m) in Singapore was used with hot and humid (82-87° F; 87-90%) ambient conditions. Wrist-worn HR watches were worn that recorded transmitted data from a coded chest-worn transmitter. The downloaded HR data, averaged over 1-min recording intervals, were then summarized as averages for each half (H1, H2) for both matches (M1, M2) and teams (SNG, MYS) using a 3-factor RM ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc (0.05 alpha). RESULTS: There were a total of 7 complete HR profiles recorded for each team (including the keeper) with both age (Mean±SD: 41±9 vs 37±7 yrs) and BMI (29.3±5.9 vs 33.2±4.3 kg/m2) statistically similar between SNG and MYS teams, respectively. Mean HR during M1 was higher (expressed as a percent of age-predicted maximal HR; 220-age) in both halves for MYS players (90-93% vs 78-83%), though not statistically. During M2, however, an even wider and statistically significant trend was apparent (P=0.03) with MYS and SNG players averaging 95-96% and 77-80%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The walking soccer team with a greater training background was able to achieve and maintain a higher CV intensity over the course of two matches in hot and humid conditions. Both teams, however, regardless of training background, maintained much higher HR intensities than the minimum (≥65% of maximal HR) suggested for moderate intensity exercise to promote positive changes in both CV fitness and health risk profile.

Support, in part, was provided by Edith Cowen University to the lead author.

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