Do Ski Helmets Affect Reaction Time to Peripheral Stimuli?
ABSTRACT Ski helmet use has steadily increased worldwide over the last 10 years in part as a result of preventive helmet campaigns but also in part as a result of increased media coverage after fatal injuries involving celebrities. However, a commonly reported reason for nonuse is impaired vision.
The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether ski helmet use affects reaction time to peripheral stimuli.
A randomized controlled trial using the Compensatory-Tracking-Test (CTT) was conducted in a laboratory situation. This test measures reaction time to peripheral stimuli during a tracking task and was carried out by 10 males and 10 females (age: 22.1 ± 2.5 years) during 4 conditions in a randomized order: (A) with a ski cap; (B) with a ski helmet; (C) with a ski cap and ski goggles; and (D) with a ski helmet and ski goggles.
Friedman-tests revealed significant differences in reaction times (ms) between the 4 conditions (p=.031). The lowest mean reaction time (± standard error) was measured for cap only use (477.3 ± 16.6), which was not different than helmet-only use (478.5 ± 19.1, p=0.911). However, reaction time was significantly longer for cap + goggles use (514.1 ± 20.8, p=0.005) and for helmet + goggles use (497.6 ± 17.3, p=0.017) when compared to cap-only use.
Our results showed that ski helmet use did not increase reaction time to peripheral stimuli. This information should be implemented in future preventive campaigns to increase helmet use in skiers and snowboarders.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare attitudes regarding ski helmet use in helmet wearers and non-wearers. In total, 924 persons ≥18 years (52% men and 48% women) participating in sport programmes at the University Sports Institute Innsbruck/Austria were interviewed about their attitudes regarding ski helmets and scored 14 statements on a five-level Likert Scale. A factor analysis was employed to determine clusters of underlying attitudes that have subsequently been used as predictors of helmet non-use in a conditional logistic regression analysis. In total, 65% of participants declared to use a helmet during their preferred winter sport activity while more than 80% of helmet wearers and non-wearers totally agreed that helmets protect from head injuries. According to the factor analysis, attitudes about ski helmets clustered around four major dimensions-subjective disadvantages, safety awareness, comfort/style and risk compensation. Adjusted ORs of regression analysis showed that helmet non-use increased with age and decreased with increasing skill level (beginner: OR 5.4, 95% CI 2.6 to 11.1; intermediate: OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.4 to 7.9; advanced: OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.7 to 5.4). In addition, helmet non-use was associated with subjective disadvantages (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.8 to 2.9). However, a negative association between helmet non-use and safety awareness (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.4) was found. Helmet use was associated with higher safety awareness, while most arguments against helmet use seem to belong to subjective perception and to represent anticipatory negative cognitions, poorly supported by evidence. Therefore, evidence-based information about wearing a ski helmet should be implemented in preventive helmet campaigns focusing on non-wearers. In addition, health communication programmes should be instituted to get non-helmeted skiers and snowboarders to try out helmets to eliminate their potential prejudices.Injury Prevention 09/2011; 18(3):182-6. DOI:10.1136/injuryprev-2011-040042 · 1.89 Impact Factor
Article: Snowboarding Injuries[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Snowboarding has gained immense popularity during the past 30 years and continues to appeal to many young participants. Injury patterns and characteristics of injuries seen commonly in snowboarders have rapidly evolved during this time. Risk factors have emerged, and various methods of reducing injuries to snowboarders have been investigated. It is important that medical providers are knowledgeable about this growing sport and are prepared to adequately evaluate and treat snowboarding injuries. This article will review the issues and discuss diagnostic and treatment principles regarding injuries seen commonly in snowboarders. Injury prevention should be emphasized, particularly with young riders and beginners.Current Sports Medicine Reports 11/2011; 10(6):340-4. DOI:10.1249/JSR.0b013e318237be2a · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In alpine skiing and snowboarding head, back and arms are often affected by injuries. The use of protective gear as ski helmets, back and wrist protectors increased in the last ten years, however with different frequencies. The use of protective gear may depend on various factors as gender, age, nationality, sports, skill level, frequency of winter sport participation, risk taking and previous injuries. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of such factors on the use of different protective gear. In total, 802 persons (51.5% males and 48.5% females; 71.4% skiers and 28.6% snowboarders) were interviewed. Ski helmets, back and wrist protectors were used by 65.5%, 22.9% and 4.8%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed only an increased frequency of sport participation as independent factor for ski helmet use. Independent factors for back protector use were male gender, an age < 25 years, snowboarding, higher skill level, an increased frequency of sport participation, and riskier behaviour. Independent factors for wrist protector use were an age < 25 years, snowboarding, and a lower skill level. Previous injuries were not found to be an independent factor in any of the three protective gears. To implement target-orientated preventive campaigns independent factors of protective gear evaluated in this study should be considered.Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin 01/2012; 63(4):106-110. DOI:10.5960/dzsm.2012.015 · 0.58 Impact Factor