International Journal of Physical Education
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Given that the recent rise in obesity rates throughout Southeast Asia is disproportionately driven by women, part of the regional solution may be to encourage more habitual physical activity within this population. Taking advantage of the regional popularity of walking football, this study sought to characterize the cardiovascular demands and metabolic intensity of Southeast Asian women competing in walking football matches to determine the sports’ suitability for promoting physical health. It was hypothesized that both cardiovascular and metabolic intensity measures (≥65% HR% and ≥3.0 METs, respectively) would meet or exceed established thresholds for improving fitness and health. Methods: Women’s teams from Singapore (Mean±SD: 42±11 yrs age; 29.2±7.0 kg/m2 BMI; n=14) and Malaysia (40±10 yrs age; 32.9±5.7 kg/m2 BMI; n=8) competed in two successive matches within a single day during which measures of heart rate (HR) and GPS (from portable handheld device) were recorded for each player, while relative HR was computed as a percent of each player’s age-predicted maximal HR (HR%, %). The GPS data were later converted to walking distance and metabolic intensity (i.e., metabolic equivalents, or METs). One-sample t-tests at the 0.05 alpha level were used to compare variables to their respective thresholds. Results: Both Malaysian and Singaporean teams had mean relative HRs (91-95% of HRMAX [P=0.008] versus 77-80% of HRMAX [P
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