Tayside and Central Scotland

Football study probes effects of intensive exercise

Netherlands footballers warm up at the World Cup
Image caption The study hopes to find out if lots of practice is good for you

Scientists in Dundee are to use computer games technology to investigate the effects of intensive football training on bone growth.

Researchers will film the movements of young footballers in 3D using motion analysis cameras.

The same technology is used to represent sportsmen like Wayne Rooney and Tiger Woods in computer games.

The Dundee University study aims to discover whether hours of practice is actually good for youngsters.

Volunteer footballers will visit the university's Institute of Motion Analysis and Research (IMAR) where the way they move will be filmed and analysed.

Professor Rami Abboud, the institute's director, said: "Although football is a major global sport, there is a significant weakness in the scientific literature as to whether targeted exercise training and many hours of practice are actually beneficial to growing individuals."

The professor said the limited knowledge was "extremely worrying" for young footballers, whose health could be affected by the intensive exercise.

The study is a joint project between the IMAR and Dundee University's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.

Scientists are looking for about 20 footballers aged 12 to 14 to help with the research.

Volunteers are asked to contact the institute at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

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