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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>