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Body Mass Index for Australian Athletes Participating in Rugby Union, Soccer and Touch Football at the World Masters Games

Authors: Walsh Joe, Climstein Mike, Heazlewood Ian Timothy, Burke Stephen, Kettunen Jyrki, Adams Kent, DeBeliso Mark


Whilst there is growing evidence that activity across the lifespan is beneficial for improved health, there are also many changes involved with the aging process and subsequently the potential for reduced indices of health. Data gathered on a subsample of 535 football code athletes, aged 31-72 yrs ( = 47.4, s = ±7.1), competing at the Sydney World Masters Games (2009) demonstrated a significantly (p < 0.001), reduced classification of obesity using Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to the general Australian population. This evidence of improved classification in one index of health (BMI < 30) for master athletes (when compared to the general population) implies there are either improved levels of this index of health due to adherence to sport or possibly the reduced BMI is advantageous and contributes to this cohort adhering (or being attracted) to masters sport. Demonstration of this proportionately under-investigated World Masters Games population having improved health over the general population is of particular interest.

Keywords: BMI, soccer, masters athlete, rugby union, touch football

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