Playing soccer increases BMC in adolescents
The latest British study shows that playing football boosts bone formation in adolescents. The obvious downsides of arrested bone formation are lesser peak bone mass (PBM), increased risks of fractures and the higher risk of osteoporosis in the long run.
It’s no secret that youth is the most important when it comes to the bone formation. Once a youth finally gets to puberty, the next 4-5 years are fundamental in that retrospect. The study compared young boys who play soccer to those who swim, cycle and don’t engage in any kind of sports. In the end, it turns out that playing football can increase bone formation when compared to swimming and cycling.
The study mostly revolved around semi-professional young players, who play up to ten hours per week, there’s an obvious case to be made: playing only about three or four hours per week will also be enough for a significant, long-lasting effect. The research itself revolved around a selection of over 110 boys (ages 12 to 14) for a whole year, measuring their BMC and bone mineral density (BMD). After a year, the football players had better BMC when compared to the children who swim and cycle. All the parameters were about 5 to 7% higher, which is a truly significant amount.
Although the study did not take into consideration several other popular sports, the likes of tennis, badminton, American football, basketball, and softball will most likely have the same effects as football. It’s well-known and well-publicized that high-intensity exercise is key when it comes to bone growth, but it’s important to narrow that down and find out exactly what kind of exercise is the most valuable.