Physical Activity, Body Mass Index and Aerobic Capacity of Youth Soccer Players: Results from the 1st Trial of Papa Project in Greece

Authors

  • Charalampos Krommidas University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Panagiotis Keramidas University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Evangelos Galanis University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Athanasios Papaioannou University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Nikolaos Digelidis University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Giannis Tzioumakis University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Nikolaos Zourbanos University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science

Keywords:

Exercise, motion sensors, physical conditioning, developmental ages

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine Physical Activity levels (PA), Body Mass Index (BMI) and aerobic capacity of 117 young soccer athletes, aged 10-14 years (M age: 11.63 ± 1.25 years), who participated voluntarily in the 1st measure of the European PAPA project (www.papaproject.org) in Greece and came from 13 soccer clubs of the wider region of Thessaly. Participants’ PA levels were assessed with an accelerometer, which wore on them for at least 3 days of 8 hours per day. Measurements of their body mass and
height with a scale and a stadiometer were conducted in order to calculate BMI, while their aerobic capacity was evaluated with the 20m shuttle run test. Results showed that participants performed an average of 121.29 ± 32.03 minutes per day in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) with the vast majority of players (98.3%) meeting the criterion of 60 minutes per day in MVPA, while only 1.7% of participants did not meet this criterion. The younger football players spent less time in sedentary activities and more minutes in moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA) and MVPA compared with older soccer players. No differences were found in objectively measured PA between weekdays and weekends. In contrast, significant differences were found in MVPA between days that athletes took part in soccer training and days that athletes did not participated in soccer training. Regarding BMI, the vast majority of young soccer players had normal BMI (80.3%), while only 19.7% of the sample was overweight and obese. As to the aerobic capacity (VO2max), participants had an average of 48.39 ± 4.35 ml kg-1 min-1, with older athletes having greater VO2max compared with younger athletes. Finally, differences were found in VO2max due to the soccer position referred by youth athletes, with players in the center having a greater aerobic capacity compared with offensive players, defensive players and goalkeepers, while no differences were found in PA and BMI z scores due to the soccer position referred by them. These results provide a basis for the promotion of children’s PA through soccer.

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Published

2015-07-31

How to Cite

Krommidas Χ., Keramidas Π., Galanis Ε., Papaioannou Α., Digelidis Ν., Tzioumakis Γ., & Zourbanos Ν. (2015). Physical Activity, Body Mass Index and Aerobic Capacity of Youth Soccer Players: Results from the 1st Trial of Papa Project in Greece. Inquiries in Physical Education and Sport, 13(1), 115–133. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.uth.gr/index.php/inquiries/article/view/1449

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