Science & Wellness

Researchers aim to stem football injuries

Not only does UF have a world-renowned football program, but UF is also home to world-renowned football research. Below are two stories of what University of Florida researchers are doing with the objective of making football safer for athletes.

Small changes to football practices can yield large reduction in head impacts, UF Health researchers find
UF Health

Shortening the time spent on the highest-risk football drills could reduce the equivalent of nearly a year’s worth of head impacts over the course of a typical player’s career, University of Florida Health researchers have found.

Using helmet-mounted sensors, the researchers recorded more than 32,000 impacts during Gator football practices and scrimmages in 2016 and 2017. Researchers estimated that shortening time spent on the higher-risk drills by a total of 15 minutes could help players — especially linemen — avoid about 1,000 head impacts during their four-year college careers. The majority of these avoided impacts, about 80 percent, were concentrated within three drills identified as having among the highest impact rates, said James R. Clugston, M.D., a UF associate professor of medicine and a UF Athletic Association team physician. The findings were published recently in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering journal. >> Read more

Mouth Monitor: Mining data from the human mouth
UF Office of Research: Explore / Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

The scene is familiar to fans who keep an eye on the sidelines. An athlete is pulled out of a game, and a team physician is face-to-face with him, asking questions and running tests. Minutes tick by, and the athlete gets back in the game, only to come out after another hit for more tests.

Is it a concussion or just a really hard tackle?
In the internet of things, the answer will be instantaneous and leave no room for guessing.

University of Florida researcher Y.K. Yoon has developed the first internet of things device that works inside the human mouth. It’s a mouth guard that measures three components of athlete health: head impacts, heat stress and heart stress. He calls it H3, and it comes complete with sensors and Bluetooth. >> Read more

Doug Bennett and Cindy Spence Author
August 24, 2018