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Surfing NSW supports study on the health and injuries associated with competitive surfing

Surfing NSW supports study on the health and injuries associated with competitive surfing
April 1, 2019

Research on competitive surfing health and injuries published in March 2019 in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness and conducted by a group of chiropractors with the support of Surfing NSW found the lower back was the most commonly injured area with surfers also recording a higher state of physical and mental quality of life compared to the average Australian.

The study, 'An Australian survey on health and injuries in adult competitive surfing', found that 81% of those surveyed incurred at least one surfing-related injury in their lifetime, while 58% have experienced a surfing-related injury within the current surfing season. 

Three chiropractors, Drs Andrew Burgess, Michael Swain and Reidar Lystad studied the injury profile of adult competitive surfers at the 2014 Australian Surfing Titles by examining surfing injuries in relation to the type of surfboard used. 

“The previous research that was published didn’t clarify who was participating in their studies based on surf craft use. This led us to separate the surf codes and determine whether there were any differences or similarities between their injury profiles,” Dr Burgess said.

Differentiating the injury profile of short board, long board and body board riders, it was discovered that short boarders have a higher frequency of knee injuries compared to long boarders, with 29% of short boarders incurring injuries, compared to 9%.

The study also showed that Australian adult competitive surfers had a higher quality of mental and physical health than the average Australian. These encouraging results support current surf research and programs which have indicated surfing helps with mental health and wellbeing.

Surfers were also highly active surfing ten hours per week and continuing to compete into their seventies. They also maintained well balanced diets and consumed alcohol at a lower risk level than the average Australian. 

With the lower back as a main area of injury amongst surfers and 2.7 million Australians participating within the sport, the information can be passed on to advise recreational and competitive surfers to see a chiropractor for help with managing and preventing these injuries as well as ways to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Image courtesy of Surfing Australia
 

Related Articles

7th February 2019 - World’s largest surfing lagoon to be built in South Korea

10th September 2018 - NSW surfers and lifesavers reach historic agreement

24th August 2018 - Surfing Australia announces new Chief Executive appointment

10th August 2018 - Lets Go Surfing attains Ecotourism Certification

1st February 2018 - Noosa’s surf breaks declared World Surfing Reserve

2nd December 2017 - Bondi Beach dedicated as a National Surfing Reserve


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