Balance as a Risk Factor for Injury Occurrence in Recreative Skiing

Jerko Prlić, Maki Grle, Goran Moro, Ivana Grle


The objective of this research was to determine the efficiency of the intervention resting on the analysis of the static and dynamic balance status in order to reduce the probability of skiing injuries in adult beginners. Besides, the injury incidence during the initial training in alpine skiing was also analysed. The sample of subjects comprised recreation skiers aged from 20 to 25 years (287 subjects; 214 men and 73 women). The E-Group numbered 146 subjects out of which 104 men and 42 women. The C-Group was made up of 110 men and 31 women, that is, of 141 subjects in all. Independent variables included the data about the basic anthropometric measures as well as the parameters of balance status that are obtained by testing on the Biodex Balance System. The dependent variables in the research included injury incidence, specifically: number (frequency) of injuries, injury location (region of the body), and the injury level (slight, serious). Both groups had a 6-day ski training program. Prior to the program, the E-Group was tested for balance, and the subjects with a relative balance insufficiency were identified. These subjects attended a special ski training program of a reduced volume and intensity of work (20-30% less than other subjects). The data about subject injuries were prospectively gathered. For the analysis of the differences in the injury incidence between the E and C-Groups, the χ2 test for independent samples was used. A slight injury was sustained by 18,5% of the subjects in the E-Group, and 24,8% in the C-Group.  In the E-Group a serious injury was sustained by 1,3% and in the C-Group by 2,8% of the subjects (p < 0.05). Contusions account for the largest number of injuries; they are followed by strains (sprains), and the front knee pain. One fracture was recorded in each Group; a total of three dislocations, four lacerations and one brain concussion were recorded. Hips/gluteal region is the most frequently injured locality when it comes to slight injuries. There was one fracture of the fist, and in one case a rupture occurred. Dislocations were recorded in the shoulder, and twice in the fingers. The injury incidence is lower than that reported so far (2 to 2,5 injuries in 1000 skiing days). The main reason for this difference is to be looked for in the level-of-training factor, proper equipment control, and in the methodological advantages of the study. The data suggest that the experimental program had a significant effect on the reduction of injuries during the ski training. The conducted intervention was especially efficient in terms of the reduction of serious injuries. The effects, however, relatively failed to occur in terms of the differential effect by sex. The research points to the importance of a precise, complete and quality training in the recreative skiing.


alpine; recreative skiing, injuries, balance, prevention.

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