Research Paper: How Can Sport Affect Health?

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¶ … citizens in the United States are suffering from mental or physical health problems, scientists agree that the practice of sports on a regular basis is the key to a healthy body and lifestyle. According to a recent survey, sports is a really effective way to prevent against obesity (Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, 3855) which is a major concerned in the United States. Many scientists seek to answer the question: In what way the practice of a sport will best prepare the body to face different diseases, nutrition and mental problems? In this paper I will argue that even if sports can lead to serious injuries such as head injuries, bone fracture, and anterior cruciate ligament; Sports not only help, but they can heal, and prevent some of today's most pressing health issues such as Osteoarthritis, obesity, and heart disease.

How Can Sport Affect Health:

Sport and other physical exercises or activities provide various physical benefits that help in improving an individual's health and cognitive functioning. Sports help in improving a person's health by preventing several types of diseases such cancer and obesity. In addition, sports results in improved coronary health, bone health, muscular fitness, and higher life expectancy. Through burning of calories and eliminating excess fat from a person's body, sports can increase the lean body mass and metabolic rates. While the extent with which the practice of sport prepares the body to tackle diseases, mental and nutritional problems is still unknown, sports help in preventing some of the most pressing health issues in today's society. In this paper, I will argue that even if sports can lead to serious injuries like anterior cruciate ligament, head injuries and bone fracture. Sports not only help, but they can also heal and prevent some of the most pressing health issues like osteoarthritis, heart disease, and obesity.

Sports and Health:

Sport is regarded as a highly effective tool for involving and empowering people, communities, and nations to take measures towards enhancing their health and well-being. This is largely because sport has a unique and general power to attract, encourage, and inspire people. In the past few years, various scientific researchers have discovered that sport can be a powerful means for mobilization of more resources to help fight several diseases across the globe. Based on the findings by the World Health Organization, sport and physical activity offers people of all ages, sexes, and conditions with a series of physical, social, and mental health benefits ("Sport and Health," p. 27).

Sports not only help in improving overall physical fitness and regular physical activity but it also has a major positive impact on various health risk factors like high cholesterol, use of tobacco, high blood pressure, stress, and obesity. One of the most important factors for the maintenance of a healthy and physically active lifestyle is safety in sports and physical activity, which is a vital pre-requisite for continued participation in sporting practices (Verhagen, van Stralen & van Mechelen, p. 899). The need for safety in sports and physical activity is due to the health risks within the sporting environment since sporting events can result in serious injuries on individuals. Consequently, the prevention, reduction and control of sport injuries have become an important aspect for researchers, clinicians, and the society.

Sport-related Health Risks and Injuries:

Regardless of the many health benefits provided by the practice of sports on a regular basis, one of the major limitations of sporting practices in achieving health outcomes is the associated health risks. Sports is only a highly effectively tool for positive health outcomes when it's applied in an integrated and holistic manner to lessen the various ills that can be found in sport environments. The various health risks associated with sport and physical activity include over-exertion injuries, lack of proper training and safety tools, and unsafe playing conditions and environments. Additional sports-related health risks and injuries emanate from the use of unlawful performance-enhancing substances in high-performance sports. Moreover, prolonged exercise during sport increases the risk of infections on the upper respiratory tract and has a negative impact on people involved in such activities.

However, these sports-related health risks can be minimized by ensuring that sporting activities are driven by health objectives. These activities should also consider the participant's access to proper nutrition, his/her health status, and the extent of his/her involvement in physically demanding activities at home or the workplace. In order to lessen these health risks, sporting initiatives should be carefully included in other program components in a holistic and integrated manner.

While sports-related health risks can be reduced significantly through various necessary steps as previously outlined, sporting environments and activities can also result in serious injuries to participants. These injuries are usually known as sport injuries that happen to the participant though it impacts many other people in the system. The other people within the sporting system who are impacted by sport injuries is basically the participant's support team such as teammates, parents, and friends. Currently, sport injuries have a higher profile since many types of injuries have been greatly minimized by several preventive measures (Huston & Speed, p. 195). Due to their potential to become severe, sporting injuries have a greater incidence in hospital admissions in various regions across the globe.

Notably, the location of a sporting injury is usually dependent on the sporting activity being performed. Some of the most common and severe sport-related injuries are those that occur by structure or system. These injuries usually occur to ligaments and joints, bones, tendons, and muscles with their severity depending on the extent of physicality of the sporting activity. Some of these injuries include:

Bone Fracture:

Bone fracture or a break in the bone is a severe and most common sports-related injury that can occur in several places such as the wrist, ankle, and kneecap depending on the sport being performed. Some of the main types of bone fracture include simple or non-displaced, displaced, impacted or comminuted, compound, epiphyseal, and stress fractures. While some of these fractures may require surgical intervention in the treatment process, some bone fractures are less likely to require such procedures. Some of the sporting events that are likely to cause bone fractures or a break in the bone are rugby and American football.

Head Injuries:

Head injuries during sporting events are some of the severe health problems since it can lead to death. Head injuries are likely to result in death the skull, which houses the brain to form a protective capsule, is damaged or fractures. While the occurrence of skull fractures is not common, concussions are the most common brain injuries in contact sports. Concussions are temporary loss of consciousness or disorientation that immediately follows the injury or contact during sports. However, a subdural hematoma with which blood build-up compresses the brain is more severe than a concussion and is likely to occur in contact sports. In the initial occurrence, a subdural hematoma seems insignificant though it's followed by another head injury within a week or two with disastrous results (Gotlin, p.48).

Anterior Cruciate Ligament:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a common knee injury that was previously considered as a career-ender for sportsmen and women. This injury is one of the most common lower extremities injuries that occur because an individual's knee carries the weight of the entire body and is largely involved in locomotion during sporting activity. One of the main types of anterior cruciate ligament is patella dislocations in which the kneecap falls off the groove which it normally glides along. The other main type of these injuries is patellar tendinitis that can produce during running or jumping. Patella dislocations and injuries are likely to occur when there is a muscle imbalance that makes it not to work properly and accurately. This causes the undersurface to become chronically irritated and the patella may dislocate if there is trauma. One of the most notable aspects of knee injuries is that some of them can also be caused by the menisci, which tears easily and can actually lock the knee if one of its pieces gets caught in the knee joint.

Health-related Benefits of Sports to Individuals:

As previously mentioned, participation in sporting activities is an important factor to an individual's well-being from a public health perspective. This is because there are no longer any uncertainties that participation in sports and physical activity on a regular basis lessens the risk of premature mortality. Moreover, participation in sports helps a person to reduce coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, and hypertension. This is regardless of the lack of knowledge on whether health-related benefits from sports outweigh the risk of injuries or disabilities, particularly in high-performance sports (Bahr & Engebretsen, p. 56). Some of the various health-related benefits from participation in sporting activities include & #8230;

Maintenance of Weight:

One of the major benefits of involvement in sports is its impact on maintenance of weight since it helps in promoting long-term weight loss and helps in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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