Study identifies the dangerous sports in Australia with more than 1,000 people per week hospitalised


The most dangerous sports in Australia listed – as study finds more than 1,000 people per week are hospitalised due to sporting injuries

  • New report found the most dangerous sport for Australian men and women
  • Almost 60,000 people were hospitalised from sports injuries in 2016 – 2017
  • Men were identified to be twice as likely the victim of an injury during sport
  • The most popular sport for hospitalisations was wheeled motor sports  

Australian men are twice as likely to be hospitalised from a sports injury than women as a report found more than 1,000 people were injured per week.

The report from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found almost 60,000 people were hospitalised from sports injuries in 2016–2017.

Men who participate in any code of football, cycling and motor sports are the most at risk of being injured. 

Football injuries represent 38 per cent of hospitalisations in men (Pictured: Chris Smith of the Indigenous All-Stars suffering an injury during match against the New Zealand Maori Kiwis)

Football injuries represent 38 per cent of hospitalisations in men (Pictured: Chris Smith of the Indigenous All-Stars suffering an injury during match against the New Zealand Maori Kiwis)

Cyclists are also more prone to injury and hospitalisation according to the report (stock)

Cyclists are also more prone to injury and hospitalisation according to the report (stock)

Football is found to represent 38 per cent of hospitalisations, cycling at 12 per cent, and motor sports at 8 per cent. 

Men were more prone to injuries to their hips and legs, followed by shoulder and arms.  

Wrist and hand injuries were also more common amongst men than women at 14 per cent to their nine per cent.  

For women, football codes provided the most injuries, followed by netball and basketball, and horse riding. 

Football injuries sat at 15 per cent, netball and basketball at a combined 13 per cent, and equestrian activities at 11 per cent. 

Women who participated in equestrian activities represented 11 per cent of hospitailsations due to injuries (stock)

Women who participated in equestrian activities represented 11 per cent of hospitailsations due to injuries (stock)

Swimming and diving was found to have the most life-threatening injuries at a staggering 27 per cent (stock)

Swimming and diving was found to have the most life-threatening injuries at a staggering 27 per cent (stock)

Of the 60,000 hospitalisations, 32 per cent or 18,500 cases , were caused by a fall.

Swimming and diving was found to have the most life-threatening injuries at a staggering 27 per cent, followed by cycling and equestrian at 24 per cent, and recreational walking at 19 per cent. 

Professor James Harrison, from the AIHW’s National Injury Surveillance Unit at Flinders University, said that despite the risk, Australians continued to participate in sports they loved. 

‘Many Australians participate regularly in sport and physical recreation activities, and it’s clear that we are a nation of sport-lovers,’ he told ABC.

‘Participation in sport contributes positively to a range of physical, mental and social health outcomes.

‘However, playing sport does not come without risk.’  

The report found that motorsports topped the list of the most injury hospitalisations followed by roller sports. 

Rugby, Australian Rules, soccer and touch football followed, then equestrian activities skiing, ice skating and snowboarding.  

The report found that wheeled motor sports topped the list of the most injury hospitalisations (stock)

The report found that wheeled motor sports topped the list of the most injury hospitalisations (stock)

Top Sports Injury Hospitalisations

Cycling – 6,253 cases in 2016-17, representing 10.7 percent of hospitalisations.

Australian rules football – 4,789 cases – 8.2 percent

Soccer – 4,783 cases – 8.2 percent

Rugby – 4,517 cases – 7.7 percent 

Motor sports – 3,769 cases – 6.4 percent

Roller sports – 2,539 cases  – 4.3 percent

Equestrian activities – 2,520 cases – 4.3 percent

Basketball – 2,467 cases – 4.2 percent

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