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Article Title

THE ENERGY COST OF SUCCESSIVE MATCH PLAY EVENTS FOR THE SINGAPOREAN MEN’S WALKING FOOTBALL TEAM

Abstract

D.D.A. Salle1, R.U. Newton1, D.P. Heil, FACSM2

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

Competitive walking football, an international sport that is less than 10 years old, has great potential to help address the international problems of sedentarism and obesity as a unique form of team-based competitive exercise. While recent research has documented the energy cost of women engaged in match play walking football (Heil et al. IJPEFS 2017), no such data yet exists for men’s teams. PURPOSE: This study sought to characterize the metabolic intensity of match play walking football for one men’s team during successive matches at the 2019 International Walking Football Federation World Cup competition. It was hypothesized that metabolic intensity (i.e., metabolic equivalents, or METs) during match play would meet or exceed the established thresholds for improving physical health and disease risk (≥3.0 METs). METHODS: The Singaporean men’s team (Mean±SD: 58±6 yrs age; 26.6±5.4 kg/m2 BMI; n=9) was monitored during a semi-structured warm-up (WU) and then during 7 successive 15-min competitive matches (M1-M7), all of which happened during a single day. All matches were played at the Leyton Orient outdoor football stadium (East London, England) that was split into four regulation mid-sized fields (40 m x 20 m) under warm and mildly humid ambient conditions (79-81° F; 38-43%). Predicted METs were derived from accelerometry-based activity monitors (AM) that were worn by each player within a neoprene waist pack. The AM data were later downloaded, transformed to units of energy expenditure, and then converted to METs using standard algorithms. A one-sample t-test was used to compare each mean predicted MET value (WU + M1-M7) to the 3.0 MET threshold and a Bonferroni corrected alpha of 0.006 (0.05 overall alpha). RESULTS: Average MET values for the WU (Mean±SE: 4.3±0.06 METs), as well as all seven matches (M1: 4.3±0.09, M2: 4.1±0.07, M3: 4.2±0.09, M4: 4.4±0.10, M5: 3.9±0.12, M6: 3.9±0.14, M7: 4.1±0.10 METs, respectively) exceeded the 3.0 MET threshold (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: The results of this study support previous research with women’s walking football that the metabolic intensity of competitive walking football typically meets or exceeds the 3.0 MET threshold for promoting positive changes in both metabolic fitness and cardiovascular health risk.

Support provided by Edith Cowan University to the lead author.

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