A new study reveals that pro football players have far better vision than the general population. Research showed that football players not only had better visual clarity, they also had increased contrast sensitivity and focus flexibility.
Researchers at the Liverpool John Moores University studied visual tests of almost 50 elite and 31 intermediate footballers from one English Premier League football club. The visual results from these football players were then contrasted with 230 average UK citizens.
All of the athletes in this study had higher visual scores than the general population. Interestingly, there wasn't that much of a difference in visual acuity between intermediate and elite players. Everyone in this study was measured using standard acuity-based tests.
The study authors note that defensive players have greater strengths in accommodative vergence when compared with offensive players. Researchers went on to say that since defenders are required to shift their attention between all players on the field, it makes sense that they would display a higher strength in this visual function.
When asked, researchers declined to tell reporters what English Premier Team they studied.
As far as the researchers know, this is the very first study of its kind published in a major scientific journal. The study, entitled "Visual function of English Premier League soccer players," was published in the recent edition of Science and Medicine in Football.