Washington, DC-- In a ground-breaking news release, Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, the Acting Surgeon General, released a statement last week with important findings on the sport of bouldering. In his press conference this week, Dr. Moritsugu said that falling while bouldering can greatly increase your risk of injury. He also stated that the Surgeon General's office highly endorses the use of soft foam padding to lessen the impact of a fall." />
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Surgeon General Reports Bouldering Bad For Health


 

by Unknown

March 26, 2002


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Copp
Washington, DC-- In a ground-breaking news release, Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, the Acting Surgeon General, released a statement last week with important findings on the sport of bouldering. In his press conference this week, Dr. Moritsugu said that falling while bouldering can greatly increase your risk of injury. He also stated that the Surgeon General's office highly endorses the use of soft foam padding to lessen the impact of a fall.

Since the late '90s, scientists have become increasingly interested in the effects of falling on boulderers. Only within the past few months, however, has a broad experimental and clinical approach to the subject been manifest; within this period the most extensive and definitive studies have been undertaken since 1990.

Few medical questions have stirred such public interest or created more scientific debate than the bouldering-injury phenomenon. The interrelationships of bouldering and falling undoubtedly are complex. The subject does not lend itself to easy answers. Nevertheless, it has been increasingly apparent that answers must be found.

As the principal Federal agency concerned broadly with the health of boulderers, the Public Health Service has commissioned researchers at the University of Colorado to solve this complex question. Why do boulderers get hurt? After all, they are so close to the ground. And why are they always falling anyway?

The results of this astonishing study are obviously a shock to many in the climbing community.

While recovering from a shattered ankle, reporters caught up with bouldering legend Dave Gill while enjoying a latté at Café Solé, the locally famous coffee shop, in Boulder, Colorado. "I heard of people getting hurt, but I never believed it. I think this is a serious blow to the sport of bouldering. If people know their risk of getting injured is greatly increased while bouldering, they might drop bouldering altogether and go back to sport climbing where there is much less risk."

Researchers at the University of Colorado were quick to join the Surgeon General's Federal committee assembled to solve this phenomenon. Student researchers at UC Boulder were quoted as saying, "We will do everything we can to find out exactly why boulderers are getting hurt. We are totally committed, even if it means going out and doing research every single day. We are even prepared to stop going to class and force ourselves to spend more time in the field if necessary."

On a related note, Jacob Riesling, nomadic climber and self-proclaimed entrepreneur, plans to make use of these new study findings to enter the new niche market. He was quoted as saying, "I have used mattresses and foam padding for years while bouldering, and with these new findings from the Surgeon General, I believe there will be a new market for these "bouldering pads." I can make some money by manufacturing small foam pads and selling them in the climbing shops." Jacob plans to partner with his long-time friend Richard Head to design and market the pads. As of this writing, Richard, an engineering student at MIT, has already asked permission from his professors to change the subject of his senior project to the design of the "bouldering pads." "I am really excited about this idea. I think some day very soon people all over the world will be using these pads for protection while bouldering."



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