British study quantifies the “danger” of sports


For the first time, a British study quantifies the level of danger of about sixty sports, from walking to skydiving and motorized activities.

The researchers state, first of all, that the risk of serious injury during sports is “exceedingly low”. The authors of the study looked at around 12,000 people who used the UK public health system for injuries related to sport or physical activity between 2012 and 2017, specifically in England and the Netherlands, Wales. They calculated an overall annual injury incidence rate of 5.40 injuries per 100,000 participants. Not surprisingly, this rate was higher among men (6.44 injuries/100,000 participants/year) than among women (3.34 injuries/100,000 participants/year).

The highest rates were measured at the age of 16 to 24, then at the age of 45 to 54. The injured spent an average of 9.4 days in the hospital, and about 1% of the injuries were fatal. “We see that in the last two or three years of their research, there has been no real increase in the frequency of injuries,” noted Professor Yves Lajoie, a specialist in physical activity at the University of Ottawa. “This shows that people are adapting to the situation quite well and that there is nothing to worry about. But if you are part of the population that plays dangerous sports, be aware that you have a good chance of injury. »

Indeed, motor sports, equestrian sports and board sports were the most likely to cause injury, while running, dancing, golf and working out at the gym were at the other end of the scale. However, it is not new that the population was reminded of the importance of minimal caution when playing sports, even the seemingly most banal ones. “I think people practice these activities to free themselves, and sometimes we forget to pay attention to the little details, and often it’s the little details that will make the difference,” analyzed Professor Lajoie. We love our freedom and we love being able to do the things we want how we want. Even if the same messages are repeated to us, we continue. »

Sometimes a certain “banalization” comes to the fore, he believes. Taking the kids to the park on a winter Saturday morning, we can lose sight of the fact that the slope may be frozen or that it may be busy with dozens of impatient people moving in all directions. The authors of the study hope that their data will help identify the potentially most dangerous sports and introduce the necessary measures to reduce the risk of injuries. The findings of this study were published in the journal Injury Prevention, part of the BMJ family of scientific publications.

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