I volunteered at Be Active 2012 last week and had a great time. The focus of the conference was: public health, physical activity, sport medicine/science and injury prevention. Seeing as how I want to work in sports management/sponsorship/marketing (I am a woman of many talents, after all) I thought this would be an interesting conference to attend. Even though not directly related to what I want ultimately do, have you ever met a GM that didn’t know anything about injuries? I didn’t think so. While I can’t tell you everything I learned (that would defeat the purpose of the conference fee!) I thought I’d give you some highlights.
1. People get hurt because they’re lazy. There is a TON of literature that discusses injury prevention and most of it is successful. And yet, we still have so many injuries, all the time. It’s because everyone focuses on rehabilitation, not prevention. Pretty stupid, right? Prevention programs have been developed that take five-twenty minutes a day and people don’t do them, then wonder why they got hurt. BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING LAZY. THAT’S WHY. Note: to be fair, this is not always the case. If you’re playing baseball and you get knocked in the head by a fly ball, no amount of prevention is ever going to keep you from being hurt. But you know what I mean – hamstrings, ankles, Achilles… all fair game for injury prevention exercises.
2. Less active people pay more attention to prevention. I thought this was pretty cool – but let me put it in a way you understand. Say you have two people who ride their bike to work, neither of whom wears a helmet. One rides twice a week, the other rides 5 times a week. When working on prevention techniques, public health officials want to promote the use of helmets. It has been found that the person who only rides their bike twice a week will respond better to these efforts. Pretty cool findings, huh?
3. Immigrants have more health problems. I paid special attention to this one! When people move to another country, there are many things that contribute to their health issues, especially heart disease. A big one is the lack of knowledge about local sport. The more assimilated they are, the less likely they are to die of health related issues. This is interesting because while I’m sure the lack of knowledge about local sports and healthy food contributes, multiple studies have found that community contributes to health, a LOT. I wonder if assimilation means that people are happier because they have more friends and feel more comfortable in their community? Hmmm. Interesting…
4. TV is a good measure of how sedentary people are. Many studies use TV time to determine how sedentary (inactive) people are and Australia considers people sedentary if they watch more than 3 hours of TV per day. Several people in the conference sessions were up in arms about this saying, “What if someone is active all day and just watches TV at the end of the day? Three hours isn’t a good determinant.” Turns out… it is. People who watch that much TV generally have higher body fat and are not that active.
5. Beware occupational sedentary activity. That’s the real killer, especially for women. Granted, I knew this even before attending the conference, but since Spending more time sitting (more than a few hours a day, not including sleep) leads to increased likeliness of about a million different diseases. And only for women. How unfair is that?! But there’s an upside…
6. Women respond better to exercise. When women exercise, we exhibit better physiological and psychological effects than men. They manifest themselves in better skin, hair, regular body functions and healthier organs as well as better moods. That’s pretty awesome.
What do think? Did you already know these things? What’s the coolest health related fact that you know? Will I be seeing you at an SMA conference in 2013?