Saturday, February 21, 2015

Observed Comparitive Student Injury Rates


I want to note that I run a civic ballet company and a ballet school with my wife and have taught, coached and performed ballet in a professional context; I have also either personally played the listed sports or in the case of gymnastics personally known people who did it and also taught ballet to gymnasts at gymnastics facilities.  All of which means I have seen these injuries and traumas first hand.  I am observing the occurrence of the listed injuries over a 20 year period from 1994 until now, 2015 - it should also be noted that being around ballet constantly during that time, encompassing many hundreds of students as well as professional endeavors, the relative lack of injuries altogether in ballet in most of the listed injury types should be truly striking because over 20 years it is reasonable to expect to have seen out of the ordinary major injuries happen, but this is not the case!  Also I am not bothering to list nuisance minor injuries like blisters or bruises or broken toenails or fingernails, because you can get all those types of injuries on a regular basis without doing any sort of athletic or ballet type activity, and listing them would be meaningless as a physical risk indicator, all they would indicate is that you are moving your body around somehow.  A corollary to this exclusion would be how the National Weather Service does not bother to ask for reports about lightning or thunder from storm observers because those happen all the time regardless of an F5 tornado or simple random static electricity happening.

While I have long promoted classical ballet as an excellent physical activity, just seeing these observed injury rates side by side struck me that for longevity and health, ballet is most definitely an outstanding choice.  Swimming also has very low noted injury rates.  Realistically you stand about a very slim chance of "going pro" in any of these listed activities, however with proper training there is a much higher, legitimate pathway to gaining college scholarships for ballet.  The same cannot be said of competitive gymnastics because just as the high injury rates noted on the table show, gymnasts' bodies are too injured and too broken to function well by the time of college and so there are virtually no competition or "pro" gymnasts over the age of 18 because the body just cannot endure that level of physical punishment.   Soccer is also quite hard on the body and the biggest thing I've observed is it's very high brain-concussion rate, no doubt due to bare skulls with no helmets butting together at times during a game or from a hard kicked fully inflated soccer ball being headed. 

You can view the table here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Fce7ByolG8TnrEwEBa9PcktfXAVj0_jLDoW7eZfzPYw/pubhtml

Or in the embedded table shown here:

 

#ballet, #gymnastics, #soccer, #comparison #injury, #injuries



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