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Wednesday, January 7, 1998 Published at 21:33 GMT


Sport can damage your health

The recent skiing deaths of Sonny Bono and the son of Robert F Kennedy may make you nervous, but statistically it is one of the least lethal sports.

Dr Michael Turner, chief medical adviser to the British Ski and Snowboard Federation, has compiled statistics on the relative dangers of different sports.

Downhill skiing, with an injury rate of 2.6 per 1,000 participant days, is roughly as risky as ping pong and half as dangerous as golf.

The sport to avoid if you want to remain healthy is rugby, which is more than 36 times as dangerous.

Soccer, with 64.4 injuries per 1,000 participant days, is also much riskier.

Both recent celebrity deaths occurred towards the end of the day.

"A lot of serious injuries and fatalities occur at the end of the day when people are fatigued," noted Stacey Gardner, a spokeswoman for the National Ski Areas Association.

"In addition the lighting on the slopes is not as good at that time of day."


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