12 weeks of soccer playing by homeless men allowed them measurable cardiovascular fitness increases, decreased body fat and LDL (bad) cholesterol (which went down 6.4%) as well as a drop in diastolic blood pressure.
A small study of homeless men living in Copenhagen found that playing street soccer for 12 weeks improved their cardiovascular health, blood pressure, body fat percentage and cholesterol. Although pedometer readings revealed that the study participants averaged more than 10,000 steps a day, they lacked intense physical activity that can improve the cardiovascular system.
The majority of the men said they regularly smoked cigarettes and marijuana, and many also drank alcohol. Of the 55 original study participants, 33 took part in a soccer training group while the others did not, serving as a control group (they were put on a waiting list to take part in the program later). Among the group, 22 men in the training group and 10 men in the control group finished the trial.