EUGLOREH project
THE STATUS OF HEALTH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
TOWARDS A HEALTHIER EUROPE

FULL REPORT

PART II - HEALTH CONDITIONS

7. ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES AND RELATED TIME TRENDS: PREVALENCE, INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY

7.4. Data discussion

7.4.4. Prevention of sports injuries

Links:  Standard Highlighted

Link to concordances are always highlighted on mouse hover

7.4.4. Prevention of sports injuries

 

Sport makes an important contribution to the EU’s strategic objective of solidarity and prosperity. According to the Eurobarometer survey, about 6 out 10 European citizens participate in sport activities on a regular basis and the EU-region counts some 700 000 sport clubs.

 

However, no sport activity is without risks: about 18% of injury related hospital admissions are due to sports activities (see Figure 7.14).This means that an annual estimate of 1.2 million hospital admissions and 15 million interventions by other medical and paramedical professionals is due to sports injuries in the EU27. The long term consequences of a large proportion of these injuries, for instance osteoarthritis after ruptures of rotator cuff, often result in high healthcare costs.

Sports activities that dominate the injury league are ball games such as soccer, volleyball, handball and basketball (50%), racket sports (8%), winter sports (7%), gymnastics and aerobics (7%). (see Figure 7.21).Swimming and bathing in open water and mountain hiking and climbing are at the top among the fatal injuries (Working Group of Governmental Experts on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 2008).

 

Figure 7.21. Sports practiced at the time of injury, EU27, 2003-2005

 

The “sport injuriespriority area is closely linked to the “safety of children and adolescentspriority area: e.g. almost 70% of people injured while playing football are below the age of 25. More than 90% of people injured in gymnastics and aerobics are also in this age group (Figure 7.22).

 

Figure 7.22. Sports practiced at the time of injury by age group, 2003-2005

 

Physical exercise contributes much to fitness and health and its promotion is a prominent feature of health promotion in Member States as well as within the European Commission strategy for health promotion. However, studies have demonstrated that a significant proportion of the health benefits are lost due to injuries. Sport injuries are also a very frequent reason for giving up sporting activities. Consequently, both strategies, promotion of physical exercise and injury prevention, should be combined as much as possible.

 

The world of sport is diverse, covering activities and exercises for pre-school children, physical education at school, organised activities in sports clubs, individually organised leisure activities, top athletics, and exercises for the elderly. There are many possibilities to prevent sport injuries such as modifying and improving equipment, rules, training methods and services (Working Group of Governmental Experts on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 2008).

 

A recent example of injury prevention in organised sports is the project namedSafety in sportssafety management for high risk sports in collaboration with European sports federations”.