Pokemon, Hippos and CrossFit will kill you!

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The REAL risk of injury....

In 2013 the CEO of Exercise New Zealand was quoted in an article as saying “CrossFit has resulted in six deaths overseas and rendered an Australian man paraplegic …” (1)

When challenged about the quote the article was edited and an apology published based on the claims of death being unsubstantiated.

In the same year, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a study entitled "Crossfit-based high intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition". The study followed 54 people that participated in CrossFit sessions for 10 weeks. The study made the following statements

"...a notable percentage of our subjects (16%) did not complete the training program and return for follow-up testing."

"This may call into question the risk-benefit ratio for such extreme training programs..."

In 2014, CrossFit, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the National Strength and Conditioning Association in relation to the publication of this study claiming that the data was false. Not only did the NSCA  issue a statement acknowledging the injury data was incorrect (2) but the lawsuit was settled in September 2016 with the District Court of the United States ruling in favour of CrossFit Inc.'s claims. (3)

Based partly on articles like these, CrossFit has been consistently criticised for causing injuries and deaths to those that participate.

Now people will claim that I am part of “Crosscult” and have a vested interest in defending CrossFit because I own an Affiliate. But what is truly concerning is recognised bodies and persons in positions of influence scaring people away from exercise protocols based on false statements and data. These exercise protocols assist to prevent health issues such as Cardiovascular Disease, Coronary Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Yes there is a risk of injury, I admit that. Even the founder of CrossFit Greg Glassman admits that in interviews! There will always be a risk of injury if you “do” something active. Staying on the lounge watching TV is definitely one way to avoid injury (btw - you should also know that approximately 450 people die each year falling out of bed! (6)) But what also has to be admitted is that staying on the lounge doing nothing also increases the risk of Heart Disease and Stroke. The pay off for the increased risk of injury is that you decrease the risk of dying from preventable disease. I’d rather have an achey knee or a dodgy shoulder every day of the week than sitting there slowly dying from heart disease or being out of breath because I got off the lounge and walked to the kitchen.

All forms of general fitness contain an injury rate. That rate is 2.4 - 3.1 injuries per 1000 hours of training. There have been three academic studies conducted that found CrossFit’s injury rate to be below or equal to that rate. (4)

The list of benefits such as increased strength, fitness, confidence and weight loss have not even been discussed here.

So why is this information important? Because we should be encouraging people to get off the lounge. We shouldn’t be faced with bogus information discouraging people from doing something about reducing their risk of preventable disease. Many people new to CrossFit are faced with people around them spewing false facts they have heard in these articles and studies rather than congratulating them on their efforts and encouraging them to continue. They should be celebrated for doing something to improve their health not ridiculed for the decision to be active.

By the way……..  approximately 100 people are killed in Russia every year by falling icicles, Hippos kill 2,900 people a year in Africa, Autoerotic Asphyxiation kills 600 people a year, vending machines falling over kill 13 people a year (5) and 12 deaths have allegedly been linked to people playing the Pokemon Go game! (6)

  1. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9854547/Fitness-can-be-bad-for-your-health (the article has since been edited to remove “erroneous information in relation to CrossFit”)

  2. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:November 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 11 - p 3159–3172 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318289e59f

  3. https://therussellsblogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/nsca-msj.pdf

  4. The Truth Hurts: Part 1 | THE RUSSELLS

  5. http://www.oddee.com/item_98002.aspx

  6. http://pokemongodeathtracker.com