FC Barcelona and global insurance company Allianz SE will jointly develop innovative projects which will impact on the health and wellbeing of athletes and in turn the wider society. The study is the first project in a series of efforts between the club and longtime partner Allianz SE. It will analyze the association between sleep quality and athletic performance.
The project is a partnership between FC Barcelona, Allianz SE, Hexoskin, a Canadian startup that develops smart clothes and Adsalutem Institute, a Catalan entity specialized in sleep medicine. The research will document sleep habits and experience of FC Barcelona athletes through personalized studies and records – with the objective to measure the possible impact sleep has on their performance and health. The six-month long study will collect qualitative sleep data of 600 young athletes from different sections of the Club. Also, an individualized intense study will be conducted on 50 of these athletes, reports FC Barcelona.
The Importance of Sleep
The basis of the project is the fact that sleep is essential for health and wellbeing, and has an important impact on healthy physical development, emotional regulation, cognitive performance and quality of life. Additionally, studies have shown that sleep is key to athletic performance. Existing scientific evidence indicates that sleep is an important factor that must be considered in the sports industry. Adsalutem Institute’s work thesis, is based on the conviction that improving sleep will improve the overall wellbeing of athletes and their performance on the pitch.
Hexoskin manufactures smart clothes that collect data while the wearer is asleep. The garment can continuously monitor breathing, heart rate and movement through built-in sensors, with a small device incorporated into the shirt. Hexoskin is the only smart shirt in the market that is clinically validated for collecting this type of data. The participating athletes will wear the smart shirt for two to three nights. The study will also help Hexoskin to enhance its smart clothes.
“For Barça Innovation Hub it is a great step forward to launch this project with Allianz Group, a world-renowned strategic partner which is a perfect fit for us. Sleep and good rest are essential to guarantee the well-being and good performance of our athletes,” said FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
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