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Sanford completes years-long study on head impacts

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford Research has found a 79 percent reduction in head impacts after studying a youth football team for eight consecutive seasons.

The manuscript, “Head Impact Exposure of a Youth Football Team over Eight Consecutive Seasons,” was recently published online in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Thayne Munce of Sanford Research was the principal investigator of the study. His research team keenly studied one youth football team, coached by the same coaching staff, during the 2012 – 2019 seasons. Helmet-mounted impact monitors were used to measure the number of head impacts players experienced as well as the severity of the impacts.

The study claims to provide proof of the concept that it’s possible and realistic to be able to achieve significant decreases in head impacts over a short period of time through intentional changes in coaching and player behavior.

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