Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More Athletic Ski Jumping! A Lightweight Formula Solves Complex Problem

20.02.2007
Dangerous underweight among top athletes can now be detected even more accurately using the new Mass Index. Unlike the Body Mass Index used in the past, this innovative method also takes into account individual leg length.

The new index was developed as part of a project by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, which had already provided the basis for resolving the problem of underweight in ski jumping. The project was based on wide-ranging field studies during the Olympic Games.

Less is more, at least when it comes to body weight and jumping distance in ski jumping, as the lighter you are, the further you fly. But when is “less” actually “too little”? When does low weight distort competition and become chronic underweight and how can these harmful developments in sport be countered?

These were precisely the issues investigated by a team led by Prof. Wolfram Müller of the Center of Human Performance Research at the University of Graz as part of the project “Problems with underweight among competitive athletes”. One of the results is a much improved facility for assessing underweight and overweight. The new measure for determining relative body weight is called the Mass Index (MI) and in the future it will augment or even replace the Body Mass Index (BMI), which does not take into account the proportions of the body and, in particular, individual leg length.

DO LONG LEGS MAKE YOU THIN?

With his new method, Prof. Müller offers more precise calculation of relative body weight, as he explains: "So far - based on the BMI calculation - people with long legs are assessed as too thin and, conversely, people with extremely short legs are quickly branded as overweight. However, both of these assessments are incorrect as the calculation method is based simply on a person’s size. In contrast, the Mass Index calculated by us takes into account the ratio between the legs and the upper part of the body.”

The results obtained in this project have already led to a reduction in problems with underweight for ski jumpers. Studies of athletes’ physical build in connection with aerodynamic measurements and calculations persuaded the International Skiing Association to change the ski jumping regulations from the 2004/05 season onwards. Extremely light athletes are now obliged to jump with shorter skis. Since this new competition rule was implemented, practically no more underweight jumpers have got themselves into this condition through starvation. This means it is the athletes’ skill that will count in future and not the advantages of being underweight.

OLYMPIC FIELD STUDY

The varied project results were only made possible by comprehensive studies supported by the Olympic Committee and the International Skiing Association. Prof. Karl Sudi, who developed the project with Prof. Müller, says: “We had a great opportunity during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City to conduct a field study on athletes’ individual flight styles and at the same time to examine the proportions and composition of ski jumpers’ bodies. The involvement of nearly all the ski jumpers who started at the games meant it was possible to create the basis for changing the rules in ski jumping.”

It is particularly pleasing that athletes too ultimately benefited from this FWF project. Following measurements in wind tunnels, completely new forms of training were developed which make a key contribution to optimizing the performance of ski jumpers and athletes in the Nordic combined discipline. Eight athletes who took part in these forms of training won gold at the Olympic Games in Turin.

Till C. Jelitto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv200702-en.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>