A new study from Curtin University’s School of Nursing aims to debunk the popular notion that mountain biking is an extreme, injury-prone sport reserved for adrenaline junkies.
By analyzing data from dozens of global studies, including Australia, the researchers found that most mountain biking injuries are mild, such as bruises, scrapes and lacerations to the upper limbs.
The study, published in PLoS ONE, looked at injuries suffered by 220,935 mountain bikers and 17,757 hikers and showed that hikers often suffer from blisters and sprained ankles.
As mountain biking and hiking become more popular as recreational activities, understanding the types of injuries involved is critical to providing proper medical care.
Contrary to popular belief, most reported injuries related to mountain biking have been of minor severity. Lead Author Ph.D. Candidate Paul Braybrook noted that while ankle sprains are common among hikers, arm fractures are more common among mountain bikers.
The research highlighted the importance of wearing quality helmets, as one study in the report reported that more than half of mountain bike injuries involved the head.
Health and economic benefits
The study not only aims to provide clarity on the risk level of mountain biking; It also highlights the numerous benefits of these outdoor activities.
Mountain biking and hiking have positive effects on cardiovascular health and help reduce high blood pressure, obesity, high blood cholesterol and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, these activities are also beneficial to the local economy as they attract tourists and adventure seekers.
Mountain biking has evolved since its inception as a “radical” sport. Advances in the design of hiking trails, mountain bikes, footwear and protective gear have significantly reduced the risk of serious injury.
Braybrook notes a “cultural shift” away from the extreme driving styles that were synonymous with the sport’s infancy.
Given that we are in the spring season, Paul Braybrook encourages people to hit the nearest trails for a bike ride or hike.
The study conclusively shows that the health benefits of these activities far outweigh the risks.
“These are fun activities that are good for fitness and where only the occasional scrape or bruise is expected,” says Braybrook.
So if you’ve been hesitant to hit the mountain bike trails or hike, this study is a good reason to reconsider.
If your well-being is important to you, please read studies on exercise, which is essential for improving the life expectancy of older people, and this diet method could help extend life expectancy.
Further information on the topic of wellness can be found in current studies Vitamin D supplements significantly reduce cancer death ratesand results show that this type of exercise can slow bone aging.
The study was published In Plus one.
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