Study: PE students more prone to concussions than athletes

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine suggests that students in physical education classes are 60 percent more prone to concussions than those who play sports.

The study, published in December, asked 147 middle and high school athletic directors and trainers across New Mexico how many of their students were removed from athletics as a result of sustaining a concussion. When compared to similar injuries reported in physical education classes, there were significant differences.

From Reuters:

Reported rates of concussions sustained in PE classes were 60 percent higher than the rates of concussions in sports, according to the 99 athletic directors and trainers who responded.

During the 2013 to 2014 school year, 3.5 of every 100 students were removed from athletics because of a concussion, whereas in PE classes, 4.7 of every 100 students sustained a concussion, the researchers found.

“Attention has been paid to coaches receiving training on sports concussions, but education for physical education teachers has not been emphasized,” lead author Richard Campbell told Reuters. “We need to look at providing education to physical education teachers as well.”

The study reached some interesting conclusions, but it’s important to note that the results do not necessarily mean that physical education classes are more dangerous than playing sports. The research relies on reported concussions, and it’s possible that PE students are more likely to report injuries than an athlete who wants to return to the field or court.

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