Association of different types of playing surfaces with bone mass in growing girls

Esther Ubago-Guisado, Jorge García Unanue, Jorge Lopez Fernandez, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, Leonor Gallardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare bone mass in young female athletes playing ball games on different types of playing surfaces. About 120 girls, 9–13 years of age (10.6 ± 1.5 years old Tanner I–III) were recruited and divided into prepubertal and pubertal groups. The sample represented 3 groups of athletes: soccer (N = 40), basketball (N = 40), and handball (N = 40); and 6 different playing surfaces (soccer – ground, soccer – artificial turf, basketball – synthetic, basketball – parquet, handball – synthetic, and handball – smooth concrete). Total and regional body composition (bone mass, fat mass, and lean mass) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The mechanical properties of the surfaces (force reduction, vertical deformation, and energy return) were measured with the Advanced Artificial Athlete (Triple A) method. The degree of sexual development was determined using Tanner test. The pubertal group showed that soccer players on the ground, basketball players on synthetic, and handball players on smooth concrete had higher values of bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) (P < 0.05) than the soccer players on the artificial turf, basketball players on parquet, and handball players on synthetic. In conclusion, a hard playing surface, with less vertical deformation and force reduction, and greater energy return, is associated with higher levels of BMD and BMC in growing girls, regardless of the sport they practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1484-1492
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number15
Early online date26 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Sports
  • body composition
  • DXA
  • female players
  • physical activity


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