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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2004 June;57(2):109-14

language: Italian

Energy demand of running on football field in synthetic or natural grass

Rodio A. 1, Fattorini L. 2, Scarcia M. 2, Stropiccioli A. 2, Ballesio M. 2

1 Facoltà di Scienze Motorie, Università degli Studi di Cassino, Cassino;
2 Scuola di Specializzazione in Medicina dello Sport, Università degli Studi di Roma «La Sapienza», Roma


Aim. The research was aimed to investigate if the characteristics of football fields in synthetic grass are comparable with those of natural one, weighting the running energy cost.
Method. In 6 male young subjects (25.8±2.1) the maximum oxygen consumption (V.O2max) and the V.O2 at respiratory threshold were assessed with step test on treadmill using a breath-to-breath metabolimeter. On one synthetic and on two natural grass football fields the subjects were requested to run at 80% of respiratory threshold velocity for 10 minutes. The energy cost of the exercise was measured with portable metabolimeter assessing every 15 seconds V.O2 and heart rate (HR). Blood lactate was measured immediately after the test and throughout recovery.
Results. Results demonstrated that both V.O2 and HR on synthetic grass were 10% lower with respect to natural grass. This difference was statistically significant.
Discussion. The lesser energy expenditure on synthetic versus natural grass suggests different training protocol on this two kind of grass. The HR results suggest the possibility of using this parameter in assessing the differences of playing football on synthetic and natural grass.

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