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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Study protocol of European Fans in Training (EuroFIT): A four-country randomised controlled trial of a lifestyle program for men delivered in elite football clubs
Author(s): van Nassau, Femke
van der Ploeg, Hidde P
Abrahamsen, Frank
Andersen, Eivind
Anderson, Annie S
Bosmans, Judith E
Bunn, Christopher
Chalmers, Matthew
Clissman, Ciaran
Gill, Jason M R
Gray, Cindy
Hunt, Kate
Jelsma, Judith
La Guardia, Jennifer G
Lemyre, Pierre N
Keywords: Intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Sedentary behaviour
Physical activity
Long-term behaviour change
Men’s health
Football club
Cardio-metabolic health
Issue Date: 19-Jul-2016
Date Deposited: 12-Apr-2018
Citation: van Nassau F, van der Ploeg HP, Abrahamsen F, Andersen E, Anderson AS, Bosmans JE, Bunn C, Chalmers M, Clissman C, Gill JMR, Gray C, Hunt K, Jelsma J, La Guardia JG & Lemyre PN (2016) Study protocol of European Fans in Training (EuroFIT): A four-country randomised controlled trial of a lifestyle program for men delivered in elite football clubs. BMC Public Health, 16 (1), Art. No.: 598.
Abstract: Background:  Lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity, sedentary time and dietary behaviours have the potential to initiate and support behavioural change and result in public health gain. Although men have often been reluctant to engage in such lifestyle programs, many are at high risk of several chronic conditions. We have developed an evidence and theory-based, gender sensitised, health and lifestyle program (European Fans in Training (EuroFIT)), which is designed to attract men through the loyalty they feel to the football club they support. This paper describes the study protocol to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the EuroFIT program in supporting men to improve their level of physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour over 12 months.  Methods:  The EuroFIT study is a pragmatic, two-arm, randomised controlled trial conducted in 15 football clubs in the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK (England). One-thousand men, aged 30 to 65 years, with a self-reported Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥27 kg/m2 will be recruited and individually randomised. The primary outcomes are objectively-assessed changes in total physical activity (steps per day) and total sedentary time (minutes per day) at 12 months after baseline assessment. Secondary outcomes are weight, BMI, waist circumference, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cardio-metabolic blood biomarkers, food intake, self-reported physical activity and sedentary time, wellbeing, self-esteem, vitality and quality of life. Cost-effectiveness will be assessed and a process evaluation conducted.  The EuroFIT program will be delivered over 12 weekly, 90-minute sessions that combine classroom discussion with graded physical activity in the setting of the football club. Classroom sessions provide participants with a toolbox of behaviour change techniques to initiate and sustain long-term lifestyle changes. The coaches will receive two days of training to enable them to create a positive social environment that supports men in engaging in sustained behaviour change.  Discussion:  The EuroFIT trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the EuroFIT program delivered by football clubs to their male fans, and will offer insight into factors associated with success in making sustained changes to physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and secondary outcomes, such as diet.  Trial registration:  ISRCTN: 81935608. Registered 16 June 2015.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-016-3255-y
Rights: © The Author(s). 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Notes: Additional co-authors: David W. Loudon, Lisa Macaulay, Douglas J. Maxwell, Alex McConnachie, Anne Martin, Nikos Mourselas, Nanette Mutrie, Ria Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Kylie O’Brien, Hugo V. Pereira, Matthew Philpott, Glyn C. Roberts, John Rooksby, Mattias Rost, Øystein Røynesdal, Naveed Sattar, Marlene N. Silva, Marit Sorensen, Pedro J. Teixeira, Shaun Treweek, Theo van Achterberg, Irene van de Glind, Willem van Mechelen and Sally Wyke
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