Effects of recreational small‐sided soccer games on bone mineral density in untrained adults: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Rodrigo Ramirez‐campillo, Hugo Sarmento, Daniel Castillo, Javier Raya‐gonzález, Thomas Rosemann, Beat Knechtle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review with meta‐analysis was conducted to assess the effects of small-sided games (SSG)‐based training programs on bone mineral density (BMD) in untrained adults. The data sources utilized were Cochrane, Embase, Medline (PubMed), Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. The study eligibility criteria were: (i) untrained adults (>18 years old) of any sex, with or without a noncommunicable disease; (ii) SSG‐based programs with a minimum duration of four weeks and no restrictions regarding frequency (number of sessions per week); (iii) passive or active control groups; (iv) pre‐post values of BMD; (v) only randomized controlled trials; and (vi) only original and full‐text studies written in English. The database search initially yielded 374 titles. From those, nine articles were eligible for the systematic review and meta‐analysis. The age of included population varied from a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 71 years old. Non‐significant differences between SSG and passive and active control groups on total BMD (ES = 0.14; p = 0.405 and ES = 0.28; p = 0.05, respectively). Meanwhile, significant differences in favor of SSGs vs. passive and control groups were detected, evidencing an improvement of BMD in lower limbs of the adult population for both sexes (ES = 0.26; p = 0.05 and ES = 0.28; p = 0.156, respectively). As conclusions, SSGs can be used as a non‐pharmacological alternative to increase the BMD in the lower limbs despite having no significant impact on total body BMD. Careful generalization should be done of the level of heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number457
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone mass
  • Football
  • Health promotion
  • Human physical conditioning
  • Recreational football
  • Sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management


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