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article imageGPS technology used to screen for football injuries

By Tim Sandle     Aug 7, 2016 in Technology
Birmingham - Technology based on global positioning systems can be used to assess the likelihood of injuries produced while people compete in soccer matches, according to a new study.
Injuries to soccer players can be predicted by assessing their workload during training and competition. The risk of injury is greatest when players accumulate a high number of short bursts of speed during training, when assessed during the course of a three-week period. In general, soccer players tend to suffer more injuries than other comparable team sports.
This finding is based on data gathered from the British football league club Southampton, where data was gathered in conjunction with researchers from the University of Birmingham. The data was gathered through the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and accelerometers. The results were sorted into contact and non-contact injuries.
The use of the GPS allowed researchers to track variations in both speed and acceleration, and to overlay injury data. To gather data, GPS devices were fitted to soccer players. Here total distance covered; distance covered at high speed; total load/forces experienced; and short bursts of speed were recorded and the data transmitted to special software.
The biggest single risk factor was where players regularly engage in a high level of acceleration. The risk is highest if this fast-paced activity is performed regularly over a three-week training period.
It is hoped the research will contribute towards new guidelines designed to minimize the occurrence of injuries, especially in relation to young players. These guidelines will recommend a reduction in the intensity of the workload during training in order to minimize the chance of risks occurring during competition. This is not to say players should train less but more that the training should be phased over time with shorter periods of more intensive activity. The trick, it seems, is not exceeding what the human body can normally tolerate.
According to the lead researcher Dr. Laura Bowen: “Our research has huge practical and scientific application. It expands on a recent body of literature in rugby league and cricket which has proposed that the prescription of workloads may be more indicative of injury than the load itself.”
The research into football and injuries has been published in the journal British Journal of Sports Medicine. The research paper is headed: “Accumulated workloads and the acute: chronic workload ratio relate to injury risk in elite youth football players.”
More about football injury, Soccer, Football, Gps
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