To examine relationships between physical characteristics and injuries in adult figure skaters.
One hundred thirty adult figure skaters (113 women and 17 men, 43 ± 9 and 55 ± 10 y old, respectively) completed study questionnaires concerning health, height and weight, exercise habits, and injuries in the preceding year.
The men were older and taller and weighed more than the women (P < .05). Approximately 80% had normal body-mass index (BMI, weight [kg]/height [m]2), and the other 20% were overweight or obese based on BMI. Study participants had been skating for 12 ± 10 y (range 1 to 68 y). Most skate 4 to 5 h/wk (competitive > recreational skaters, P < .05). Although approximately 50% of competitive skaters always warm up or stretch before skating, less than 30% of the recreational skaters always do so (P < .05). Seventy-two skaters (56%) reported at least 1 injury in the preceding year. Most of the injuries were acute injuries to the lower extremity and were related to skating (76%). There were no differences in the incidence of stretching or warm-up activities or the number of hours per week spent skating in those who had incurred a skating-related injury compared with those who had not been injured (P > .05).
The results suggest that adult skaters have training and exercise habits that might increase their risk of injury and impair athletic performance. This suggests the importance of educational programming for adult skaters designed to address injury prevention and basic exercise-training principles.
The authors are with the Dept of Physical Therapy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854.