A series of studies conducted in Scandinavia have found that a lifetime of playing recreational soccer can help to maintain bone mass and density, muscle strength, and postural balance into old age. Two of the studies tracked women soccer enthusiasts ages 20 to 47, showing significant benefits for leg muscles and bones — and higher whole-body bone density — than in a similar group of women who didn’t play soccer.
Meanwhile another study compared men ages 65 to 70, who had played soccer most of their lives, to both older and younger groups of men who did not play soccer. The researchers found the soccer-playing group had significantly better balance than the non-playing elders, and comparable to that of 30-year-olds who did not regularly participate in the sport. The elderly men who had played soccer had half as many falls in a one-legged balance test as the other men their age.
— Markian Hawryluk, The Bulletin