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Are physiological attributes of jockeys predictors of falls? A pilot study


Hitchens, P and Blizzard, L and Jones, G and Day, L and Fell, J, Are physiological attributes of jockeys predictors of falls? A pilot study, BMJ Open , 1, (1) Article e000142. ISSN 2044-6055 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright Hitchens, PL 2011 Produced by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd under licence

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000142


Objectives: This pilot study describes the physiological attributes of jockeys and track-work riders in Tasmania and investigates whether these attributes are associated with falls.

Methods: All jockeys and track-work riders licensed in Tasmania were invited to participate. The study group consisted of eight jockeys (two female, six male) and 20 track-work riders (14 female, six male). Measures of anthropometry, balance, reaction time, isometric strength, vertical jump, glycolytic and aerobic fitness, flexibility and body composition were conducted. Tests were designed to assess specific aspects of rider fitness and performance relevant to horse racing. For a subset of participants (n=14), the authors obtained information on falls and injuries. The authors used Poisson regression to estimate incidence rate ratios.

Results: Jockeys had better balance, a faster mean reaction time, a lower fatigue index and a higher estimated VO2max than their track-work riding counterparts. Jockeys were also younger and smaller in stature than track-work riders, and when differences in body mass were taken into account, they had a greater muscular strength and muscular (alactic) power. Important factors found to be associated with falls were lower aerobic and anaerobic fitness, greater muscular strength and power, and riding with the full foot in the stirrup irons compared with riding on the ball of the foot.

Conclusion: This pilot study shows that physiological attributes of jockeys and track-work riders can predict their risk of falling and are measurable using methods feasible for large-scale fieldwork.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Injury prevention and control
UTAS Author:Hitchens, P (Ms Peta Hitchens)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Fell, J (Associate Professor James Fell)
ID Code:71735
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-08-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:463 View Download Statistics

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