Which sports send the most Australians to hospital?

Did you know sports injuries cause around 36,000 Australians a year to have a hospital stay?

But whether it’s football, wheeled motor sports or cycling that’s most dangerous depends on how you look at it. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Reports:

The various forms of football are responsible for the largest proportion of the total number of sports-related injuries in Australia requiring hospitalisation – nearly a third.

And of the football codes, Australian Rules and soccer had the highest population-based rates of injury images (74)hospitalisation, with 18 and 17 cases per 100,000 population respectively.

When the number of participants is factored in, wheeled motor sports, such as motorcycling and go-carting, appear riskier with more than 3,500 hospitalisations per 100,000 participants.

This was followed by roller sports, such as roller skating and skateboarding, with more than 2,000 hospitalisations per 100,000 participants.

But injury researcher and AIHW spokesman Professor James Harrison says the findings need to be kept in perspective and aren’t in themselves a reason to stop playing any of the sports.

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“There are very good reasons to engage in sport. Sport’s fun and a really good way to get fit and stay fit,” says Harrison, director of the Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University.

When it comes to the severity of injuries you might sustain, three sports stand out. Cycling, motor sports and equestrian activities had a particularly high proportion of more severe injuries, with about one quarter of cases considered to be life-threatening.

So which ever sport we prefer, they all come with some risk of injury. There are measures you can take to lower your personal risk. Simple steps such as:

– Warming up before participation

– Wearing the appropriate safety gear

– Not taking unnecessary risks

You can also take measures to reducing the impact of an injury by being prepared.

Learning first aid and staying up to date with current first aid treatment recommendations can reduce the effects of injury, provide needed assistance and possibly reduce the amount of recovery time after an injury.
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