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Sport 'can be bad for your health'

Friday June 18th 2010

Serious injury could be sustained if unfit people try and emulate their sporting heroes, a poll has revealed.

One in six people have admitted hurting themselves after following in their favourite star's footsteps, while a survey of 210 physiotherapists found people often suffered "copycat" injuries.

Summer sports on TV - including the World Cup - inspired 17% of the 2,000 people quizzed to increase their own fitness regime.

Slightly more than one in 10 people have needed surgery after increasing their exercise regime, while just more than one fifth have been forced to take time off work because of the injuries caused by sports.

Some 26% said they already suffer from knee pain.

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The quick pace of change and direction on the football pitch, as well as tackles, can put pressure on knee ligaments and the lower back, according to physiotherapists.

Half of those questioned said they expected to see a rise in knee injuries this summer as more people played sport, while 26% have seen a rise in knee injuries over the past two years.

A total of 46% of the physiotherapists said football caused the most stress to their patients' joints.

Dr Chris Conbeer said: "Anyone thinking about taking up sport, whether it's going for a run, a game of five-a-side football or a friendly game of tennis, should make sure they take precautions.

"Warm up and stretch properly then make sure to cool down afterwards."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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