The EuroFIT project: promoting physical activity and reduced sedentary time in elite football clubs

  • P. J. Teixeira
  • M. N. Silva
  • C. M. Gray
  • K. Hunt
  • H. P. van der Ploeg
  • G. C. Roberts
  • C. Bunn
  • F. van Nassau
  • E. Andersen
  • S. Wyke

Abstract

Background: The European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) program was delivered in elite professionals football clubs in four European countries and aimed to engage overweight and obese men in initiating and maintaining improvements in physical activity, sedentary, and dietary behaviours. . Methods: EuroFIT tests the utility of a and gender-sensitized 12-week lifestyle program in 1200 middle-aged (30-65y) men in Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK. The program was led by club coaches, and affiliation to clubs leveraged to extend reach to ‘hard-to-reach’ men, and increase group relatedness, interest in the program, and adaptive motivation for behaviour change. Real-time, self-relevant feedback on step count and sedentary time was provided via an accelerometer (SitFit) and connection to other participants promoted with a proprietary app (MatchFit). Findings: The EuroFIT RCT involved 15 participating clubs. Alongside perspectives from sociology and gender studies, Self-Determination Theory and Achievement Goal Theory were integral components of the intervention and measurement protocol. Specifically, the program was designed to help men develop autonomous goals, build competencies through optimally challenging physical activity and dietary changes, and strengthen relatedness through meaningful connections to group members and the club. Discussion: We will describe the elements of EuroFIT that highlight theorethical constructs and how they were linked to intervention strategies, and discuss both form and function in relation to the specific characteristics of this population and setting. Results will allow us to test the efficacy of the intervention as partially mediated by theoretical constructs, resulting in sustained healthy lifestyles, improved health and well-being
Published
2017-12-31
Section
Symposia