Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/16/cheerleading_dangerous/

Cheerleaders in danger from cheerleading

Stunts increase the risk of flashing injury

By Pratik Desai

Posted in Bootnotes, 16th November 2009 12:48 GMT

In a startling set of new findings, researchers have concluded that cheerleaders who perform stunts are at greater risk of injury from cheerleading stunts.

Using an "Internet-based reporting system for cheerleading-related injuries" (Cheerleading RIO™), boffins from Columbus Ohio gathered data from battle-torn American cheerleaders. After performing some serious analysis the boffs made the following statements in a press release:

Although integral to cheerleading routines, performing stunts can lead to injury. Stunt-related injuries accounted for more than half (60 per cent) of US cheerleading injuries.

Also highlighted in the press release was an increased risk of sustaining head injuries when performing stunts:

Data from the study showed that nearly all (96 per cent) of the reported concussions and closed-head injuries were preceded by the cheerleader performing a stunt.

Listing the manoeuvres that are categorised as "stunts", the eggheads indicate to any concerned cheerleaders the crowd-pleasing moves that may land them in A&E:

In our study, stunts were defined as cradles, elevators, extensions, pyramids, single-based stunts, single-leg stunts, stunt-cradle combinations, transitions and miscellaneous partner and group stunts.

Also detailed in the release is the danger posed by jumping around like a cougar on hard surfaces:

The study also showed that nearly 90 per cent of the most serious fall-related injuries were sustained while the cheerleaders were performing on artificial turf, grass, traditional foam floors or wood floors.

The researchers recommended that cheerleaders wanting to avoid an unhappy landing should use something soft. And try not to fall on wood, of course.

The enlightening press release can be read here. ®