Following the United States women hoisting the World Cup on Sunday, it’s a good time to revisit this article about one of the most famous soccer managers of all time employing sunbeds to aid player performance:
Players getting vitamin D from sunbeds was part of the winning strategy of one of the world’s all-time great soccer managers, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Harvard School of Business.
“At a successful club like Manchester United, no stone is left unturned in preparing the players for action — and that even includes their sun tan,” London’s Daily Mail reported. “A fascinating study into the methods of manager Sir Alex Ferguson by academics at the Harvard Business School in Boston has revealed that United had a Vitamin D machine installed for compensate for Manchester’s lack of natural sunlight.”
The Harvard study, coordinated by Harvard Business Professor Dr. Anita Elberse, examined now-former manager Ferguson’s managerial tactics. Many consider Manchester United the world’s most recognizable and successful sporting team.
“He [Ferguson] could talk enthusiastically about the new Vitamin D machine (which perhaps most resembled a tanning booth) in the players’ dressing room at Carrington, put there to help them counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester, or his plan for the new season to give players staggered one-week breaks in the winter months to replenish their Vitamin D,” The Daily Mail quoted from the study.
There’s no word as to whether United has continued sunbed use under new leadership.
Multiple studies show that sunbeds with UVB (90-95 percent of sunbeds have UVA and UVB, like summer sunshine) trigger vitamin D production in the skin. Sunbed users have 90 percent higher vitamin D levels as compared to non-tanners, according to a 2004 paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Sunbed users in Canada have the highest vitamin D levels of any group, according to a study in Canadian Family Physician.
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