Descriptive analysis of Objectively Assessed Physical activity among talented soccer players – a study of 3 Norwegian professional football clubs
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMJ Open sport and exercise medicine. 2017, 2, 1-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2016-000178
Background: Talented football players are expected to overcome large training and match loads, indicating a high weekly level of physical activity (PA). Aims: With the use of accelerometers, the aim of this study was to objectively describe the players’ total time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), vigorous PA (VPA) and very vigorous PA (VVPA) per day in 1 week. Since high-intensity PA has been highlighted as important in terms of overall PA load, we also included 2 and 4 min bouts of VPA. Methods: Data were collected in three junior teams in professional football clubs in March (club 1: 2014, club 2: 2012 and club 3: 2011). A one-way analysis of variance was applied to analyse differences between the three respective clubs. Results: The players averaged 77.2–86.2 min in MVPA, 14.9–18.5 min in VPA and 1.0–3.1 in VVPA per day. While there were no differences in total time spent in MVPA and VPA per day, VVPA was significantly higher in club 1 (p<0.01) compared with clubs 2 and 3. Moreover, when using the VPA bouts, club 3 (p<0.01) achieved significantly more time in this intensity compared with clubs 1 and 2. Conclusion: This study acknowledges the importance of including both club-related and non-club-related PA when analysing talented football players’ PA level. We suggest that future studies examining players’ PA with accelerometers should emphasise time spent in high-intensity PA and how this is associated with physical overload, psychological burnout and risk of injury.