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Innsbruck, Austria

Ruedl G.,University of Innsbruck | Brunner F.,University of Innsbruck | Woldrich T.,Austrian Ski Federation | Faulhaber M.,University of Innsbruck | And 3 more authors.
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine

Objective: To measure on-slope speeds of alpine skiers and to compare their ability to accurately estimate their actual speed with regard to measured speed, age, sex, skill level, helmet use, and risk-taking behavior. Methods: Skiing speeds of 416 adult skiers (62% men, 38% women) were measured with a radar speed gun. Skiers were interviewed about their age, sex, skiing ability, helmet use, and risk-taking behavior. Additionally, skiers had to estimate their measured speed as accurately as possible. The difference between estimated and measured speed was described as error of estimation (EE). Results: Mean measured speed (±SD) of all participants was 48.2 (±14.3) km/h. Pearson correlation coefficient between the actual speed and the estimated speed was 0.57 (P <.001) for all participants. Skiers underestimated their measured speed on average by 5.8 km/h or 8.1%. A multiple hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that when skiing speed is increased by 1 km/h the EE significantly decreases by 0.5 km/h. Male sex, higher skill level, risky skiing behavior, and younger age groups showed a significantly better ability to estimate skiing speed, whereas ski helmet use did not. Conclusions: Skiing speed, age, sex, skill level, and risk-taking behavior seem to influence the ability to estimate actual speeds in recreational alpine skiers. © 2013 Wilderness Medical Society. Source

Ruedl G.,University of Innsbruck | Pocecco E.,University of Innsbruck | Sommersacher R.,Austrian Ski Federation | Gatterer H.,University of Innsbruck | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Sports Medicine

Background In recent years, discussions have arisen about the potential infl uence of wearing a ski helmet on an increasing level of risk taking and higher speeds on ski slopes. Objective To evaluate factors associated with selfreported risk-taking behaviour in recreational skiers and snowboarders. Methods Speeds of skiers and snowboarders were measured with a radar speed gun and sex, age, nationality, height, weight and helmet use, used type of gear, self-estimated skill level and self-estimated fi tness level were recorded. In addition, participants were asked if they considered themselves as cautious or risk-taking skier or snowboarder. Results In total, 453 skiers (39.6 (14.8) years) and 74 snowboarders (26.4 (9.6) years) have been interviewed. A stepwise forward logistic regression model revealed fi ve independent factors for a risk-taking behaviour on slopes. Adjusted OR and their 95% CI showed that risk takers were <40 years (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.51 to 3.80), had a higher skill level (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.25 to 3.50), were more likely males (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.26), had a lower body mass index (22.8 vs 24.2) and skied with higher speeds (on average 53 vs 45 km/h) compared to cautious skiers. Conclusion Risk-taking behaviour on ski slopes is associated with younger age, higher skiing ability, male sex, lower body mass index and on average higher speeds. Helmet use is not associated with riskier behaviour on slopes. In addition, helmet use has to be recommended because helmet use reduces the risk of head injuries among skiers and snowboarders. Source

Bottoni G.,University of Innsbruck | Kofler P.,University of Innsbruck | Giger A.,Austrian Ski Federation | Nachbauer W.,University of Innsbruck
Procedia Engineering

In the literature it is mentioned that ski boots might decrease balance ability and this increases injury risk. The use of knee braces during skiing might help in knee stabilization and, therefore, improve balance ability. Eight female sport students participated in this study (age 24.88±2.1 years; BMI 21.6±1.97). Four knee supports were tested: the first (B1) was a soft knee sleeve with a reinforcement around the patella and two thin flexible metal bars for the lateral stabilization; the second (B2) was a neoprene sleeve with thin flexible metal bars for the lateral stabilization; the third (B3) was an elastic brace with double-joint metallic bars for the lateral stabilization, a reinforcement and a hole around the patella and fixation straps; the fourth (B4) was a massive knee brace with a more rigid structure ideated to return to sport after injury. The balance ability test was performed using the MFT-S3 Check System. The test was repeated five times, one without knee brace and one with each type of knee brace, in randomized order. Wearing the B3 a worsening in balance ability in comparison with the condition without brace was found. Wearing B2 the stability index (symmetry of the platform movement) in the anterior-posterior direction was significantly better than wearing the more cumbersome braces B3 and B4. No significant differences between the conditions were detected for the balance ability in the medio-lateral direction. From this pilot study it is possible to conclude that knee braces might influence balance ability wearing ski boots. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ruedl G.,University of Innsbruck | Kopp M.,University of Innsbruck | Sommersacher R.,Austrian Ski Federation | Woldrich T.,Austrian Ski Federation | Burtscher M.,University of Innsbruck
Accident Analysis and Prevention

In alpine winter sports, external risk factors as snow and weather conditions as well as slope characteristics (width, steepness, slope intersections, and snow parks) should be considered when investigating potential risk factors. Therefore, ski patrol injury reports were used to compare factors associated with injuries occurred on slope intersections and in snow parks compared to on-slope injuries. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that in comparison to injuries occurring on ski slopes, collisions with other persons (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.3-3.4) and arm injuries (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.3-3.5) were more likely associated with injuries occurring on slope intersections while male gender (OR: 3.5, 95% CI: 2.1-5.7), younger age (OR: 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1), slushy/soft snow conditions (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-3.3), knee injuries (OR: 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.8) and back injuries (OR: 5.5, 95% CI: 3.0-10.2) were more likely associated with injuries which occurred in snow parks. In conclusion, injuries on slope intersections and in snow parks differ in some factors from injuries sustained on ski slopes. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Ruedl G.,University of Innsbruck | Fink C.,Sportsclinic Austria | Schranz A.,Sportclinic Medalp Soelden Imst | Sommersacher R.,Austrian Ski Federation | And 2 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

In alpine skiing, the knee represents the dominant injury location with marked gender differences. Snow, slope and weather conditions as well as altitude and low temperatures are thought to influence the prevalence of knee injuries. Therefore, ski patrol injury reports were used to compare gender-specific prevalence of knee injuries with regard to several environmental factors including the actual air temperatures. A total of 1039 non-contact knee injuries were reported with a corresponding prevalence of knee injuries of 44.4% (males: 30.1%; females: 57.4%). Temperature quartiles of all recorded injuries were calculated to compare gender-specific prevalence of knee injury with regard to temperatures. Comparing the first quartile (mean temperature -11°C) with the fourth quartile (mean temperature +3°C), the prevalence of knee injury in female skiers was higher at low ambient temperatures (61% vs 50%, odds ratio: 1.60, 95% confidence interval: 1.16-2.22; P=0.005) while no such association was found for male skiers. Additionally, knee-injured females showed a twofold prevalence when skiing during snowfall compared with females with other injuries (15.4% vs 8.6%; P=0.001). No other environmental factor showed a significant association with the gender-specific prevalence of knee injury. In conclusion, low ambient temperature and snowfall are important environmental risk factors for knee injuries in female skiers. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

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