Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crossing five or more time zones more than doubles illness risk for elite athletes

Date:
August 9, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Elite athletes who cross more than five time zones to compete are around two to three times as likely to get ill as when they compete on their home turf, suggests new research.

Elite athletes who cross more than five time zones to compete are around two to three times as likely to get ill as when they compete on their home turf, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The researchers tracked the daily health of 259 elite rugby players competing in the 2010 Super 14 Rugby Tournament.

In this annual tournament, 14 teams from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand compete over 16 weeks (February to May) at venues in all three countries, and in time zones varying from 2 to 11 hours' difference from their own.

Games are played weekly to a high intensity international standard, accompanied by three to five weekly training sessions over the 16 week period.

The 8 team physicians were asked to complete a daily log of any illness that required medical attention for each member of their squad.

The rate of illness was calculated for 1000 player days, with the total number of player days across all the teams 22,676, based on squad size x days of play.

Throughout the 16 weeks of the tournament, 469 illnesses were reported in 187 of the players (just over 72%), giving an overall incidence of just under 21 per 1000 player days.

But the rate varied considerably, depending on where the matches were played.

For matches played on home turf before international travel, the incidence was 15.4/1000 player days.

But this rose to 32.6/1000 player days for matches played in locations that were 5+ hours' time difference away from home, irrespective of direction of travel.

For matches played on return back home after international travel, the incidence fell back to 10.6/1000 player days.

Almost one in three of all illnesses reported were respiratory conditions (just under 31%), followed by gut problems (27.5%) and skin and soft tissue conditions (22.5%).

Infections accounted for most of the reported illnesses.

There was little difference in the number of infections reported for each of the months, although there was a slight fall in incidence during April.

It has been suggested that air travel might explain the higher risk of illness, but if that were the case, infection rates would also be higher after returning home, say the authors -- at least for respiratory infections.

"The results from our study indicate that the illness risk is not directly related to the travel itself, but rather the arrival and location of the team at a distant destination," write the authors.

They suggest that various stressors could be involved, including changes in pollution, temperature, allergens, humidity, altitude, as well as different food, germs, and culture.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. P. Schwellnus, W. E. Derman, E. Jordaan, T. Page, M. I. Lambert, C. Readhead, C. Roberts, R. Kohler, R. Collins, S. Kara, M. I. Morris, O. Strauss, S. Webb. Elite athletes travelling to international destinations >5 time zone differences from their home country have a 2-3-fold increased risk of illness. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091395

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Crossing five or more time zones more than doubles illness risk for elite athletes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090658.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, August 9). Crossing five or more time zones more than doubles illness risk for elite athletes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090658.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Crossing five or more time zones more than doubles illness risk for elite athletes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090658.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins