The Physiological, Physical, and Biomechanical Demands of Walking Football: Implications for Exercise Prescription and Future Research in Older Adults

Liam D. Harper, Adam Field, Liam D. Corr, Robert J. Naughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this investigation was to profile the physiological, physical and biomechanical responses during walking football. Seventeen male participants (66 ± 6 years) participated. Heart rate (HR), blood lactate, accelerometer variables (biomechanical load [PlayerLoadTM]; changes of direction [CoD]) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. Participants mean % of HRmax was 76 ± 6% during the sessions, with RPE across all sessions at 13 ± 2. Blood lactate increased by ~157% from pre- (1.24 ± 0.4 mmol·l-1) to post-session (3.19 ± 1.7 mmol·l-1; p ≤ 0.0005). PlayerLoadTM values of 353 ± 67 a.u were observed, as well as ~100 CoD per session. In conclusion, walking football is a moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity. The longitudinal health benefits of walking football remain to be elucidated, particularly on bone health, cardiovascular fitness, and social and mental wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478–488
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number3
Early online date1 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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