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FIFA flicks the ball to Victoria University researchers

World soccer body FIFA has sponsored a Victoria University research study offering 60 middle-aged male participants the chance to test the health impacts of physical training.

Victoria University PhD student Fabio Serpiello has received a $32,000 Joao Havelange Scholarship from FIFA to study how different types of physical activity such as indoor soccer and running can help in the prevention of diabetes in middle-aged people.

 "Scientific research has demonstrated that one of the main factors involved in the onset of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity,'' Mr Serpiello said.

 "Australian males are at high risk of diabetes, especially middle aged men who are overweight and physically inactive. However, diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, and people at risk can get back to a healthy condition.''

 Mr Serpiello said VU was offering volunteers the unique chance to improve their fitness and health for free, and have fun doing it.

 "Physical training can reduce the risk factors of the disease but traditionally people who need to improve their health are told to exercise between three to five times per week at a moderate intensity. However, recent scientific evidence shows that high-intensity intermittent training is equally or more efficient than moderate-intensity exercise. This is what we will be testing.''

 Men aged 35 to 55 who are overweight and physically inactive are encouraged to volunteer for the study, which will run for 12 weeks from June.

 Eligible participants will have blood glucose screening, a full blood test and supervised physical training for free. The study will take place in the brand new Sport and Learning Precinct at VU's Footscray Park campus.

 For more information or to register as a volunteer for the study please contact Fabio Serpiello on +61 3 9919 4736 or email fabiorubens.serpiello@live.vu.edu.au

For interview: Fabio Serpiello on 9919 4736

Media contact:

Jim Buckell, External Communications Manager,

Marketing and Communications, Victoria University;

9919 4243; 0400 465 459

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