Sports are great fun to participate in, and they’re great for your physical and mental health. Not only do you get exercise, but you get the opportunity to participate in a confidence building activity with friends that share your interests. However, sports can also be very dangerous.
If you are looking to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle while avoiding serious injury, maybe you should be aware of the sports that have the highest risk of injury. Here is a compilation of sports with the highest injury risks based on emergency room admissions across Australia and in the Latrobe Valley.
Australian football is the most common cause of sports-related injury in adults, accounting for more than 20% of all sports-related injuries. It is also a very common cause of injury in children, accounting for nearly 12% of all childhood sports injuries.
According to Dr. David Lee, a Sydney dentist, “The high rate of injuries in Australian football is partly due to the reluctance of players to use much in the way of safety equipment. Fortunately, the one piece of safety equipment they do use regularly is a mouthguard, so tooth injuries are reduced.” However, other types of head injuries are common, accounting for about 20% of all injuries.
According to the smaller-scale study in Latrobe Valley, the injury rate for Australian Football may be about 37/1000 in a two-week period, though most injuries are inconsequential.
Based on national injury reports, cycling is the most common cause of sports-related injury in Australia for children, accounting for more than a quarter of all childhood sports injuries. It is also a major cause of injuries in adults, accounting for about 10% of adult sports injuries.
However, because cycling is one of the most popular activities in Australia, especially for children, its injury rate is relatively low.
Soccer accounts for less than 10% of sports related injuries for both adults and children, but it is high on the list for both groups. Not surprisingly, soccer has the highest incidence of lower extremity injury of any sport, especially in adults, where they account for nearly 60% of all injuries.
The most common type of injury is a sprain or strain, although fractures were also common, especially among children. According to the Latrobe Valley study, the injury rate in soccer was higher than for Australian football, about 107/1000.
Basketball had a fairly high rate of injury for both adults and children. In children, basketball and its variant netball had the highest rate of injuries to the upper extremities. Mostly these are sprains and strains, though fractures are common. For adults, lower extremity injuries were more common in basketball and netball.
Likely, this is more reflective of the degenerating condition of adults’ lower extremities than the character of the sports.
When it comes to the last sport on this list, it’s hard to distinguish between cricket and rugby. Both have numbers of injuries among adults, but low among children, coming out very close to one another in total numbers.
However, in the Latrobe Valley study, cricket had the highest rate of injury out of any sport (242/1000), which merits its inclusion on the list. Among children, head injuries are common, but among adults, there is no injury location that stands out as characteristic of the sport.
No matter what sport you participate in, it’s best to always take precautions to avoid injury, including proper warmup and cooldown that can help you avoid strains and sprains.
This article was artfully written by Matthew Candelaria for Off-Topic Media. Thanks to Dr. David Lee of My Hills Dentist in the Baulkham Hills area of Sydney, NSW, for his contribution to this article.
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