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Does Physical Fitness Affect Injury Occurrence and Time Loss Due to Injury in Elite Vocational Ballet Students?

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Most ballet dancers will suffer at least one injury a year. There are numerous causes of injury in dance, and while many investigators have documented risk factors such as anatomical characteristics, past medical history, menstrual history, dance experience, length of dance training, fatigue, and stress, risk factors related to body characteristics and nutrient intake, levels of conditioning, or physical fitness parameters have only recently received the same amount of attention. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to investigate correlations between ballet injury and body fat percentage, active and passive flexibility, lower limb power, upper body and core endurance, and aerobic capacity. Low levels of aerobic fitness were significantly associated with many of the injuries sustained over a 15-week period (r = .590, p = 0.034), and body fat percentage was significantly associated with the length of time a dancer was forced to modify activity due to injury (r = -.614, p = 0.026). This information may be of benefit to dancers, teachers, physical therapists and physicians in dance schools and companies when formulating strategies to prevent injury.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Performance, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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