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NFL Injuries

NFL Injuries

NFL injuries are a serious problem that have a significant impact on the game, from the players to coaches to the sports broadcasting. The injuries come in many forms and can be chronic or acute. Chronic injuries like chronic back pain may persist for months or years and cause long-term disability, while acute injuries like a broken arm may heal in 2 weeks with minimal disruption to natural healing process. The current method for analysing injuries is to look at the time of injury. This method can be skewed by the play of a certain player and the time he needed to get off the field. A system has been introduced to use sensors that register each players movement every step he makes in order for analysts to see if a player has sustained an injury.

With this system, researchers hypothesized that they would be able to determine different causes of a player getting injured depending on the play and phase of game. The researchers conducted an experiment on two groups of high school players (n=32). One group received sensors and utilized wearable technology while running through stations designed to simulate in-game situations, during practice and games. The other group served as a control and did not receive any technology. The players wore the sensors in a variety of situations, and the results were compared to the results of a baseline system, which correlates with no injuries. The results were then analyzed using a variety of statistical methods.

The researchers hypothesized that using sensors on football players would change how they are evaluated for injuries, and their hypothesis was supported by their statistical analysis. The results showed that players wearing technology had fewer injuries than their control counterparts (18% vs 49%). Even though the technology did reduce injuries in the first analysis, subsequent analyses of the data showed that it did not affect player performance for both surveys 150 minutes into the game and after 2 weeks. The technology was able to track over 1,000 physiological measurements, but the researchers deemed this number to be excessive and not a clear indicator of on-field injuries. It is difficult for the research team to determine what is causing these injuries because they do not know if it is the physical stress created by the sensors that caused the injury, or if it was due to a pre-existing condition. These findings are promising for educational institutions with large football programs that can easily implement wearable technology in their training regimens.

Even though these results were promising, they also show us that technology has its problems and cannot replace a person's knowledge of an injury. In the future, it may be possible to modify the sensors to create a more accurate picture of an injury that may help improve athletic performance. Although the benefits of these sensors are promising, further research is needed.