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Public Health. 2013 Jan;127(1):18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.10.012. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Effect of a national programme of men's health delivered in English Premier League football clubs.

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  • 1Centre for Active Lifestyles, Carnegie Faculty, Leeds Metropolitan University, Fairfax Hall 212, Headingley Campus, Leeds LS63QS, UK.



To investigate the impact of a national programme of men's health delivered in/by English Premier League (EPL) football clubs on health profiles.


Health promotion interventions were delivered to male supporters with heightened health risks, and hard-to-engage men who were not using primary care and health information services. Interventions included educational activities on match days and weekly lifestyle classes at the football stadia/training venues. Activities were led by the health trainers in 16 EPL football clubs.


Pre- and post-intervention, men completed validated self-report measures for demographics and health behaviours. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis was performed alongside a standard per-protocol (PP) analysis based on pre- vs post-intervention differences over 3 months. Descriptive statistics were used to show demographics pre-intervention and changes in the health profiles of participants.


Predominantly, recruits were White British men aged 18-44 years. Most men (78%, 909/1159) did not see themselves as having health problems. Around 35% (364/1044) never consulted a general practitioner (GP), while 57% (591/1040) reported that they never used health advice services. In men providing pre-intervention responses, the proportions who failed to meet the recommendations for healthy behaviours were as follows: physical activity, 85% (1106/1301); sitting time, 68% (623/907); consumption of fruit/vegetables, 88% (948/1072); smoking, 33% (422/1262); alcohol consumption, 30% (203/679); and body mass index (BMI), 63.8% (570/893). ITT and PP analyses demonstrated the significant increases in weekly physical activity (P < 0.001) and daily consumption of fruit and vegetables (P < 0.001), and significant decreases in daily sitting time (P < 0.001), weekly alcohol consumption (P < 0.001) and BMI (P < 0.05).


A national programme of men's health delivered in EPL football clubs reached men failing to meet health guidelines. Interventions engaged men who neither consulted a GP nor used health information services. Positive changes were found for an array of activity-related and other health behaviours on PP analysis and the more stringent evaluation condition of ITT analysis.

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