Researchers have found the best possible way to reduce concussion in NFL football is by playing more football.
A study published in the journal Sports Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that players who played less than 10 minutes per game were less likely to suffer a concussion in their next season, compared to those who played more than 30 minutes per week.
Researchers found that those who practiced a few minutes more per game had a 40% lower risk of sustaining a concussion during their next NFL season, versus those who only practiced 30 minutes or less.
“In this study, we were able to show that when you play football and you are not playing as often, there is a potential benefit for the player,” Dr. J.J. Koonin, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and his team wrote.
“We also found that this is a risk reduction benefit for NFL players.”
Dr. Koonson added that it’s important to note that the NFL is one of the safest sports in the world, with the vast majority of concussions being caused by a hit to the head or a blow to the face.
However, while there is no proven evidence that playing more often actually improves the likelihood of concussion in the long run, playing less often is a smart move.
“The more you practice and play, the less risk you are going to be exposed to,” Koonins said.
“I don’t think it’s the worst thing that you could do, but it could be a benefit.”
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