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: Helmet use in two wheeled vehicle accidents is widely reported to decrease the rates of death and traumatic brain injury. Previous reports suggest that there exists a trade off with helmet use consisting of an increased risk of cervical spine injuries. Recently a review of a national trauma database demonstrated the opposite with reduction in cervical spinal cord injuries in motorcycle crashes (MCC). To better ascertain the risks of cervical spine injury with non-helmet use in all two wheeled vehicles we analyzed the University of Florida level one trauma center experience. We reviewed the Traumatic injury database over a five-year period (Jan 1, 2005 to July 1, 2010) for all patients involved in two wheeled vehicle accidents. Patients were stratified according to vehicle type (motorcycle, scooter, and bicycle), helmet use, and the presence or absence of a cervical spine injury. Outcomes were compared for injury severity, cervical spine injury, cervical spinal cord injury, and presence of cervical spine injuries requiring surgery. Population means were compared using paired t-test. 1331 patients were identified, 995 motorcycles, 87 low power scooters, 249 bicycles. Helmet use was variable between each group. One hundred and thirty five total cervical spine injuries were identified. No evidence was found that suggests an increased risk of cervical spine injury or increased severity of cervical spine injury with helmet use. This fact in combination with our previous findings suggest that the law's age and insurance exemption should be revoked and a universal helmet law be reinstated in the state of Florida. Key Words: helmet, two-wheeled vehicles, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, Florida, cervical spine injury.Journal of neurotrauma 03/2014; DOI:10.1089/neu.2013.3253 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Helmet use on ski slopes has steadily increased worldwide over the past years. A common reason reported for helmet non-use, however, is impaired hearing. Therefore, an intra-subject design study was conducted to compare hearing thresholds and sound source localization of 21 adults with normal hearing in an anechoic chamber when wearing a ski helmet and ski goggles or wearing a ski cap and ski goggles to the condition head bare. Hearing thresholds while wearing a ski helmet (6.8±1.6 dB HL) and ski cap (5.5±1.6 dB HL) were significantly different (p=0.030, d=0.44). Compared to head bare (2.5±1.2 dB HL), a significant difference was found for the ski helmet only (p=0.040, d=1.57). Regarding sound source localization, correct scores in the condition head bare (90%) showed a highly significant difference compared with those of condition cap (65%) and helmet (58%), respectively (p<0.001; d>2.5). Compared to the ski cap, wearing the helmet significantly reduced correct scores (p=0.020, d=0.59) irrespective of the tested sound pressure levels. In conclusion, wearing a ski helmet impairs hearing to a small though significantly greater extent compared with a cap, the degree, however, being less than what is termed as a hearing impairment. Compared to the condition head bare, wearing a ski cap or a ski helmet significantly reduced one's ability of sound source localization.International Journal of Sports Medicine 01/2014; 35(8). DOI:10.1055/s-0033-1358673 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to measure support for a mandated helmet policy among resort employees along with the impact of such a policy on job satisfaction, and additionally, to measure the prevalence of barriers to helmet use among this population. In all, 728 Vail Resort employees were surveyed regarding their opinions on the helmet policy and on general helmet use. The majority of the 728 employees surveyed (66.5%; 95% CI: 63% to 70%) agreed with the helmet policy. Only 18% (95% CI: 16% to 21%) reported a negative effect on job satisfaction. Older employees (>25 years old) were more likely to disagree with the policy (odds ratio [OR] 3.1; 95% CI: 2.2 to 4.3) and report a negative effect on job satisfaction (OR 4.8; 95% CI: 3.0 to 7.6). Skiers were much more likely than snowboarders to report a negative effect on job satisfaction (OR 9.8; 95% CI: 5.2 to 18.1). Among resort employees, ski patrollers were more likely to disagree with the mandate (OR 9.8; 95% CI: 6.8 to 13.9) and report a negative effect on job satisfaction (OR 13.2; 95% CI: 8.3 to 21.). Forty-three percent of participants (95% CI: 39% to 46%) agreed with the statement that wearing a helmet encourages reckless behavior whereas 51.0% (95% CI: 47% to 54%) believed that wearing a helmet limits sensory perception. A mandatory helmet use policy was supported by most resort employees. However, ski patrollers and older, more experienced employees were more likely to report a negative effect on job satisfaction. Barriers to helmet use continue to persist in the ski industry and represent a target for further educational efforts.Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 08/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.wem.2013.06.001 · 0.79 Impact Factor