Body Mass index of master's basketball players

Joe Walsh, Mike Climstein, Ian Heazlewood, Mark de Beliso, Kent Adams, Stephen Burke, Jyrki Kettunen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Introduction: Thousandsof masters athletes participate quadrennially in the World Masters Games(WMG).  However, this unique cohort remains under investigated.  Witha need for multifaceted solutions to the global obesity epidemic, investigatingspecial populations such as those competing in sport at mature-older ages mayfurther the understanding of the nexus between aging, physical activity andobesity.  The aim of this cross-sectional comparative study was toinvestigate body mass index (BMI) within the WMG competitors in context withnational populations and health guidelines.  We hypothesized that theprevalence of obesity in the WMG cohort would be less than comparative nationalpopulations and males would demonstrate a higher level of obesity thanfemales. 

    Methods: A totalof 408 (44.1% male, 55.9% female) WMG basketball players aged 29-77yrs (mean52.2, SD ± 8.0) were investigated via an online survey and compared to nationalpopulations, primarily a representative sample (n=12,366, 47.5% male, 52.5%female) of the Australian population (aged 30-79yrs). 

    Results: Analysisdemonstrated a significantly (p<0.001) reduced classification of obesity inmasters basketball players, compared to Australian and other nationalpopulations.  As expected, male basketball players had , on average,higher BMI than females (p<0.001). 

    Conclusions: Thisstudy indicated that one key index of health, namely obesity, was on averagefar lower in WMG basketball players compared to a representative sample ofpopulation controls. This finding may indicate a lower risk for many diseasessuch as type 2 diabetes or heart diseases in masters basketball players and theselection of a sport that induces positive health related fitness for both maleand female masters athletes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1700-1705
    Number of pages6
    JournalMedicina Sportiva: Journal of Romanian Sports Medicine Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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