Helmets reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders by 35% with no evidence of an increased risk of neck injury, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Some suggest that helmets may increase the risk of neck injury in a crash or fall, particularly in children because of their greater head to body ratio. Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities. Estimates from numerous countries indicate that head injuries account for up to 19% and neck injuries up to 4% of all injuries reported by ski patrols and emergency departments. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and serious injury among skiers and snowboarders.
Researchers in the US who compared the effects on hip, knee and ankle joints of running barefoot versus running in modern running shoes, concluded that running in shoes exerted more stress on these joints compared to running barefoot or even walking in high-heeled shoes. The study was the work of lead author Dr D Casey Kerrigan, of JKM Technologies LLC, in Charlottesville, Virginia and colleagues from the University of Colorado and the University of Virginia, and was published in the December 2009 issue of PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) accounts for more disability in the elderly than any other disease, and although running has been shown to benefit health in many ways, including cardiovascular health, it can stress the joints in the leg, such as the hip, knee, and ankle.
Despite growing public interest in concussions because of serious hockey injuries or skiing deaths, a researcher from McMaster University has found that we may not be taking the common head injury seriously enough. In a study to be published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, Carol DeMatteo, an associate clinical professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science, found that children who receive the concussion label spend fewer days in hospital and return to school sooner than their counterparts with head injuries not diagnosed as concussion. "Even children with quite serious injuries can be labelled as having a concussion, " said DeMatteo, an occupational therapist and associate member of the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster.
Children who cycle to school are more physically active and fit than those who use other modes of transport, according to new research from the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. The findings are based a study of 6, 000 children, ages 10 to 16, from the eastern region of England. The children's cardiorespiratory fitness and travel habits were assessed during 2007 and 2008. Students from 23 schools completed a school-travel questionnaire and completed a 20-meter shuttle-run test (a speed and agility exercise) to assess their fitness levels. Researchers found boys who walked to school were 20 percent more likely to be fit compared with those using motorized transport such as bus and automobiles, and girls who walked were 30 percent more likely to be fit.
One way to help address the epidemic of obesity in the United States is improved access to pleasant hiking trails and an ambitious parks and recreation program, a recent study suggests, but programs such as this are increasingly being reduced in many states due to budget shortfalls. The analysis, done by researchers in Oregon, found that some of the health issues that plague overweight and obese people can be aided by a stronger commitment to recreational opportunities. Cutting such programs to save money may be counterproductive to community health, scientists said. "Research is now showing there's a close correlation between public health and recreational opportunities, both close to home and in state parks, " said Randy Rosenberger, an associate professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University.
In an issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, specialists argue that prolonged periods of sitting are truly detrimental. In addition, we should focus on the harms caused by daily inactivity rather than on the lack of regular exercise alone. The term "sedentary behavior" has come to mean "taking no exercise" according to doctors from the Karolinska Institute and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden. They say it should be more correctly used to describe "muscular inactivity." Recent research indicates that prolonged periods of sitting and lack of whole body muscular movement are strongly linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and an overall higher risk of death.