gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Comparison of depression rate in retired football and weight lifting athletes

Meeting Abstract

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Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa046

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Kohandel.
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Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders that can happen in different situations such as losing a family member, stress at home or work, and retirement. Post-retirement depression is a common problem among professional athletes. Indeed, making a successful transition from active player to retirement is a major problem for many professional athletes. The athletic career terminations can be generally categorizes as those that are forced (such as de-selection or injury) or freely chosen (increasing age or athlete's own choice). Although the reason of retirement can be important in the study of the post-retirement depression, all professional athletes will be faced with social and physiological changes at the end of their carrier.

The purpose of this study was to determine the depression rate in the retired national team athletes. We studied the effects of several factors such as type of sport, previous history of playing in national team, period of (spending) retirement, and age in the depression rate.


We studied the depression rate in retired football (team sport) and weight lifting (individual sport) athletes. We selected 43 football and 32 weight lifting retired players who have been previous members of national teams with the age range 40-60. We asked them to complete and return the Beck depression questionnaire (created by Aaron T. Beck). The questionnaire had 21 multiple choice questions, which were related to depression symptoms, cognitions, and physical symptoms. The athletes were asked to answer the questions by selecting one of the answers (never, rarely, sometimes, usually, and always) that best fits.


The result indicated that the average post-retirement depression rate is 9.58 in retired football players and 14.47 in retired weight lifting athletes. This clearly shows a significant different between two groups. We also observed a significant correlation between age, period of national team membership, as well as their jobs (if applicable) and the depression rate.

In weight lifting athletes, one of the reasons that create depression may be many of injuries in period of their championship and after retired they can't continue their exercises. Weakness in sport activities probably can be increased depression in retired football player and weight lifting athletes generally.