Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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vol. 41
Review paper

Effects of recreational team sports on the metabolic health, body composition and physical fitness parameters of overweight and obese populations: A systematic review

Tao Wang
Liu Yang
Qi Xu
Jun Dou
Filipe Manuel Clemente
3, 5, 6

  1. Geely University of China, 641423 Chengdu, China
  2. Fuyang Normal University, 233600 Fuyang, China
  3. Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdańsk, Poland
  4. Nanchang Vocational University, 330000 Nanchang, China
  5. Sport Physical Activity and Health Research & Innovation Center, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  6. Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Álvares, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portuga
Biol Sport. 2024;41(3):243–266
Online publish date: 2024/02/12
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This systematic review aims to provide a summary of the results from individual studies that specifically focused on overweight or obese populations, regardless of age or sex. The goal is to determine the effects of structured recreational team sports interventions (TSG) on metabolic health, body composition and physical fitness parameters when compared to passive or active control groups. This study adhered to the PRISMA guidelines for reporting a systematic review. A thorough examination of relevant literature was conducted on November 06, 2023, using three prominent databases: PubMed, Scopus, and the Web of Science. Inclusion criteria considered overweight (e.g., BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2) and obese (e.g., BMI > 30 kg/m2) populations exposed to training interventions using recreational team sports, while the comparator group consisted of the same populations not exposed to exercise (passive controls) or exposed to alternative training methods. The primary outcomes of interest were metabolic health parameters (glucose, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides), body composition (e.g., fat mass, lean mass), as well as physical fitness parameters (e.g., aerobic fitness, muscular fitness). Only studies with two- or multi-arm designs, whether randomized or not, were eligible for inclusion. The PEDro scale was used to assess the methodological bias of the included studies. Out of the initial 275 titles retrieved, we deemed ten eligible for our study. In terms of body composition, TSG demonstrated a significant decrease in body mass index across three studies (−2.3 to −5.1%) and a significant reduction in waist circumference in four studies (−4.6% to −8.4%). Regarding blood pressure, TSG exhibited a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in two studies (−3.9% to -8.3%), while diastolic blood pressure showed a significant decrease in only one study (−7.3%). Cholesterol levels saw a significant decrease in TSG in three studies (−7.0% to −9.7%), and triglyceride levels showed a significant reduction in four studies (−16.4% to −20.1%). In terms of aerobic fitness, TSG demonstrated within group improvements in the field-based tests in three studies (8.1% to 79.0%), and within-group improvements in maximal oxygen uptake in four studies (6.5% to 31.0%), with significant favoring of TSG in most studies. Overall, TSG demonstrated significant benefits for overweight and obese populations compared to the control group, particularly in terms of improvements in body mass index, systolic blood pressures, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and aerobic fitness. Future research ought to concentrate on tailoring responses to varying training volumes on an individualized basis.

Group sport, Physical exercise, Cardiorespiratory fitness, Health, Overnutrition

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