Activity is beneficial for people of all ages. People who are fit will, in general live longer and maintain a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. However there are some downsides to physical activity, in particular at high level. A large majority of ageing athletes suffer from long term injuries such as the poor state of someone’s knee. It is generally regarded that contact sports are beneficial to children. This is due to the fact that the majority of bone density material is developed when the person is young.
This is beneficial to people because many bone diseases such as osteoporosis are connected to low bone density and inactivity as a young adult. On the flip-side when competing in high impact sport there is a very high chance of some sort of injury occurring along the way. For example if someone dislocates their shoulder playing rugby, it is more than likely that this will trouble them in the future. In addition to this when playing contact sports, the joints that are covered in articular cartilage can be worn away at a more rapid rate. Indeed, some injuries even lead to the cartilage being taken out altogether.
This is a negative effect of contact sports on the skeletal system of young people as they may well end up suffering from osteoarthritis later in life. Osteoarthritis is thought to be related to cartilage being worn down to the point that the bone is no longer protected. High impact sport is generally considered to be a beneficial activity to people of all ages. Similar to contact sport, when competing in high impact sport the bone mass is built up. This is due to the fact that when someone runs solidly for half an hour, bones such as the tibia will suffer from tiny fragments breaking of the main bone.
When this subsequently re-heals it will be stronger than it was before and allow for more exercise to be done on it. However, a high impact sport such as hockey, basketball or netball can be quite dangerous as it is thought that anterior cruciate ligament injuries appear to be very common among sports that involve a lot of pivoting. Damage to this particular ligament can have a lasting affect on an athletes career and even put them out of action for good. The anterior cruciate ligament is so important because it prevents hyperextension in the knee.
Women have even more problems with this ligament due to anatomical differences. This is a big disadvantage in young people competing in high impact sports as it could prevent them at a young age from taking part in anything ever again. In young people, especially teenager’s repetitive injuries often occur the at growth plates. Repetitive injuries occur when repeatedly over time the body doesn’t have a chance to repair, and the joints and surrounding tendons and muscles become irritated. The chance of repetitive stress injuries can be reduced by simple things, such as having a rest period where the body has time to recover.
In addition to this using proper equipment also is a big factor, such as using proper running shoes to run in. If repetitive stress injuries go untreated then it is likely that the performer will have to stop competing in physical activity for a long period of time. Although serious, repetitive stress injuries can be avoided by using the correct precautions and are pretty much controlled by the performer as a pose to the outside environment. In summary of this it is clear that the different types of physical activity discussed above all have their positive sides and negative sides.
However, in my opinion the positives of by far outweigh the negatives. Physical activity brings about so many other positives as well as just the physical aspects. Such as when participating in team sport a sense of unity, self confidence etc. These positives, for me, far outweigh the possibility of injury occurring. In addition to this if we always worried about things happening to us nothing would ever be done, we would just sit at home. Therefore I think the rewards of physical activity far outweigh the negatives.
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