For five years, a group of 29 elderly men who played floorball twice a week have been followed by researchers from the Center for Team Sports and Health at the University of Copenhagen. The subjects achieved great physiological improvements and social gains through their participation in floorball the study concluded.

The team at the University of Copenhagen sought out to conduct this study with the aim to examine the effect of 5 years of floorball training on risk factors for lifestyle diseases, fitness, physical function, and social capital of elderly males and compare to a control group that continued their usual lifestyle. The motivation to run this was also due to the fact that proper research into the effect of long-term participation (>2 years) in floorball training among elderly males had not been investigated fully yet.

Back in the spring of 2015, 29 men aged 65-76 became part of a new study that was to investigate what long term floorball training and play did to the men’s physical ability, social life and the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. The test group were examined in several rounds by researchers from the Center for Team Sports and Health, which is located at the Department of Sports and Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen.

The findings of the study showed that 5 years of floorball training performed twice a week in a municipality setting led to a more favorable body composition (reduced fat percentage, android, and visceral fat), increased total and leg bone mineral density, increased functional capacity, and strength, reduced the decline in VO2max and increased social capital in elderly men. The focus group progressively developed socially through the 5 years, strengthening their social connectedness and group cohesion. Taken together, the study showed that floorball in a local sports club can be considered a long-lasting health-promoting activity for elderly men.

 

Associate Professor Mogens Theisen Pedersen from the Department of Sports and Nutrition summarised the findings of the report:

“When we combine the physiological effects with the sociological findings, floorball must be described as a very effective health measure for older men . In the ideal world, floorball for the elderly should actually be a municipal health service.”

 

The full report by the University of Copenhagen can be found here (in English): onlinelibrary

University of Copenhagen news article (In Danish) with quotes from those who undertook the study here:

 

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