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Editorial: The “Football is Medicine” platform – scientific evidence, large-scale implementation and future perspectives

Krustrup, P, Williams, C, Mohr, M, Hansen, P, Helge, E, Elbe, A-M, de Sousa, M, Dvorak, J, Junge, A, Hammami, A, Holtermann, A, Larsen, M, Kirkendall, D, Schmidt, J, Andersen, T, Buono, P, Rørth, M, Parnell, D, Ottesen, L, Bennike, S, Nielsen, J, Mendham, A, Zar, A, Uth, J, Hornstrup, T, Brasso, K, Nybo, L, Krustrup, B, Meyer, T, Aagaard, P, Andersen, JL, Hubball, H, Reddy, P, Ryom, K, Lobelo, F, Barene, S, Helge, J, Fatouros, I, Nassis, G, Xu, J, Pettersen, S, Calbet, J, Seabre, A, Rebelo, A, Figueiredo, P, Póvoas, S, Castagna, C, Milanovic, Z, Bangsbo, J, Randers, MB and Brito, J (2018) Editorial: The “Football is Medicine” platform – scientific evidence, large-scale implementation and future perspectives. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 28 (S1). pp. 3-7. ISSN 0905-7188

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Abstract

The idea that football can be used as therapy and as a high-intensity and literally breath-taking training regime goes back centuries. To take one prominent example, the French philosopher Voltaire describes in the Book of Fate (1747), how a patient is cured by playing with a sacred football: “… full-blown and carefully covered with the softest Leather. You must kick this Bladder, Sir, once a Day about your Hall for a whole Hour together, with all the Vigour and Activity you possibly can”, “Ogul, upon making the first Experiment, was ready to expire for want of Breath”, “In short, our Doctor in about 8 days Time, performed an absolute Cure. His Patient was as brisk, active and gay, as One in the Bloom of his Youth.”1 Today, Voltaire and his main character, philosopher Zadig, have been proved right: Football is indeed a breath-taking activity and it can be used as therapy. Albeit today's recommendations suggest a lower training frequency, longer training periods and encourage group-based training, and say that any football can be applied.

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