Physical and physiological benefits of small sided recreational handball in untrained males: relationship of body fat with aerobic capacity




small sided games, VO2max, team sports, blood pressure, resting heat rate


Background and Study Aim. Exercise and Recreation play major role in promotion of health and fitness. Recreational exercise or sports can be useful in physically inactive population. The aim of study was to investigate the effect of recreational handball on body fat percent, VO2max, blood pressure and resting heart rate. Another purpose to find relationship between VO2max and body fat percentage. Material and Methods. Twenty-four students were randomized into intervention (n=14) and control group (n=10). The intervention group was asked to play recreational handball for 12 weeks. Handball training was held twice a week for 30 minutes duration. The Control group performed their normal routine. Aerobic capacity measured using single-stage treadmill test. Body fat was measured with Omron Body Fat Analyzer. T-test was employed to find a significant difference in the two groups. For the relationship in aerobic capacity and body fat, Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used. Results. We found significant difference in body percent (t22 = 2.031, P = 0.054). No significant difference was seen in aerobic capacity (t22 = 1.578, P = 0.129), systolic blood pressure (t22 = -1.637, P = 0.116), diastolic blood pressure (t22 = -1.562, P = 0.133) and resting heart rate (t22 = 1.620, P = 0.120). Significant relationship was established between body percent and aerobic capacity (r= -5.23, n=14, p= 0.055) in the intervention group. Conclusions. It can be concluded that recreational handball was useful in eliciting good response with respect to reduction of body fat in intervention group. However, recreation handball sessions were not effective in reducing blood pressure, resting heart and aerobic capacity among untrained males. A significant relationship was observed in VO2max and percent body fat.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Rakesh Tomar, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals; King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

John A. Allen, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals; King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.


1. World Health Organization. Physical activity. [Internet]. 2016 [updated 2021 Feb 10; cited 2021 Apr 10]. Available from:

2. Kiens B, Beyer N, Brage S, Hyldstrup L, Ottesen LS, Overgaard K, Pedersen BK, Puggaard L, Aagaard PG. Physical inactivity-consequences and correlations. Ugeskrift for laeger. 2007;169(25):2442–5.

3. Pedersen BK, Saltin B. Exercise as medicine - evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2015;25:1–72.

4. Middleton KR, Anton SD, Perri MG. Long-term adherence to health behavior change. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2013;7(6):395– 404.

5. Fløtum L av, Ottesen LS, Krustrup P, Mohr M. Evaluating a Nationwide Recreational Football Intervention: Recruitment, Attendance, Adherence, Exercise Intensity, and Health Effects. BioMed Research International, 2016;2016:1–8.

6. Bredahl TG. Region Syddanmark/Fyns Amt Ekstern evaluering af SDU. Odense: Denmark; 2007.

7. Hornstrup T, Wikman JM, Fristrup B, Póvoas S, Helge EW, Nielsen SH, Helge JW, Andersen JL, Nybo L, Krustrup P. Fitness and health benefits of team handball training for young untrained women—a cross-disciplinary RCT on physiological adaptations and motivational aspects. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2018;;7(2):139–48.

8. Póvoas SCA, Castagna C, Resende C, Coelho EF, Silva P, Santos R, et al. Physical and Physiological Demands of Recreational Team Handball for Adult Untrained Men. BioMed Research International, 2017;2017:1–10.

9. Randers MB, Nielsen JJ, Bangsbo J, Krustrup P. Physiological response and activity profile in recreational small-sided football: No effect of the number of players: Organizing effective recreational football. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2014;24:130–7.

10. Bangsbo J, Hansen PR, Dvorak J, Krustrup P. Recreational football for disease prevention and treatment in untrained men: a narrative review examining cardiovascular health, lipid profile, body composition, muscle strength and functional capacity. Br J Sports Med, 2015;49:568–76.

11. Milanović Z, Pantelić S, Čović N, Sporiš G, Krustrup P. Is Recreational Soccer Effective for Improving VO2max? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med, 2015;45:1339–53.

12. Milanović Z, Pantelić S, Sporiš G, Mohr M, Krustrup P. Health-Related Physical Fitness in Healthy Untrained Men: Effects on VO2max, Jump Performance and Flexibility of Soccer and Moderate-Intensity Continuous Running. PLoS ONE, 2015;10:e0135319.

13. Karcher C, Buchheit M. On-Court Demands of Elite Handball, with Special Reference to Playing Positions. Sports Med, 2014;44:797–814.

14. Ottesen L, Jeppesen RS, Krustrup BR. The development of social capital through football and running: studying an intervention program for inactive women: Development of social capital in women’s recreational football and running. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 2010;20:118–31.

15. Ebbeling CB, Ward A, Puleo EM, Widrick J, Rippe JM. Development of a single-stage submaximal treadmill walking test: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 1991;23:966–973.

16. Tomar R, Antony VC. Linkage of aerobic capacity and body fat percent: Effects of recreational activity on aerobic capacity, body composition, blood pressure and resting heart rate in University students. Medical Science, 2019;23(98):557–64.

17. Randers MB, Nielsen JJ, Krustrup BR, Sundstrup E, Jakobsen MD, Nybo L, et al. Positive performance and health effects of a football training program over 12 weeks can be maintained over a 1-year period with reduced training frequency: Long-term effects of reduced-frequency football training. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 2010;20:80–9.

18. Randers MB, Hagman M, Brix J, Christensen JF, Pedersen MT, Nielsen JJ, et al. Effects of 3 months of full-court and half-court street basketball training on health profile in untrained men. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2018;7:132–8.

19. Tomar R, Antony VC. Effect of small-sided recreational soccer on metabolic controls, lipid profile and physical characteristics in untrained males. Medical Science, 2019a ;23(100):835–42.

20. Burke SM, Carron AV, Eys MA. Physical activity context and university student’s propensity to meet the guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine. Med Sci Monit, 2005; 11:171–6.

21. Bangsbo J, Nielsen JJ, Mohr M, Randers MB, Krustrup BR, Brito J, et al. Performance enhancements and muscular adaptations of a 16-week recreational football intervention for untrained women: Performance effects of women’s football. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 2010;20:24–30.

22. Krustrup P, Nielsen JJ, Krustrup BR, Christensen JF, Pedersen H, Randers MB, et al. Recreational soccer is an effective health-promoting activity for untrained men. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009;43:825–31.

23. Krustrup P, Christensen JF, Randers MB, Pedersen H, Sundstrup E, Jakobsen MD, et al. Muscle adaptations and performance enhancements of soccer training for untrained men. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2010;108:1247–58.

24. Patterson S, Pattison J, Legg H, Gibson A-M, Brown N. The impact of badminton on health markers in untrained females. Journal of Sports Sciences, 2017;35:1098–106.

25. Magal M, Smith RT, Dyer JJ, Hoffman JR. Seasonal variation in physical performance–related variables in male NCAA division III soccer players. J Strength Cond Res, 2009; 23:2555–9.

26. Pribis P, Burtnack CA, McKenzie SO, Thayer J. Trends in Body Fat, Body Mass Index and Physical Fitness Among Male and Female College Students. Nutrients, 2010;2:1075–85.

27. Vanderburgh PM, Katch FI. Ratio scaling of VO2 max penalizes women with larger percent body fat, not lean body mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996; 28:1204—08.

28. Nevill AM, Ramsbottom R, Williams C. Scaling physiological measurements for individuals of different body size. Eur J ApplPhysiol, 1992; 65:110–17.




How to Cite

Tomar R, Allen JA. Physical and physiological benefits of small sided recreational handball in untrained males: relationship of body fat with aerobic capacity. Physical Education of Students. 2021;25(6):339-44.

Abstract views: 353 / PDF downloads: 251