Sports medicine researcher Peter Krustup reported "the very surprising results" in Copenhagen, which showed that amateur football players who played two to three times a week for three months enjoy significantly better health than joggers.
Together with experts from Copenhagen University's Sports Institute and the Rigshospitalet hospital, Kustrup observed and scientifically controlled two groups of men for three months. Each group consisted of 14 non-athletes who participated in regular football or jogging.
At the end of the period, the football players had lost an average of 3.5 kg of fat and gained two kg in muscle mass.
The joggers had lost an average of two kg of fat without gaining muscle mass. The footballers also scored better on other fitness scales.
Kustrup explained the differences by noting that footballers "change their tempo frequently, between jogging and sprinting." The playful aspect of the game also played a role.
"Joggers found it all very hard. The football players got into it easily."