We all surmise that playing a violent sport like football can be a hazardous occupation. For that matter, we can assume any game where it is considered perfectly acceptable to allow a 300 lb man to run as fast as he can and then ram himself into another with his shoulders lowered, often banging ones head at full speeds and extreme force against someone who may not even be looking , would not be a good way to improve one’s physical longevity. But, the win at all costs approach to the sport carries a heftier price than even we might have guessed. New studies shows quite startling low life-expectancy rates, from 53 to 59 depending on playing position–a full 20 years shorter than the average for men in the U.S. overall.
The average NFL player plays just 3.52 seasons, usually stopping due to injury, and loses two to three years off his life for every season played. The causes are not definitively known at this time, but its no mystery that the body breaks down when subjected to repeated force trauma injuries so central to the sport. The expected multiple concussions that players can expect to suffer in their career, leading to brain damage, depression, and Alzheimers, in addition to breaking down of joints, ligaments and tendons would also lower the quality of life significantly, post retirement.
As part of a study of early mortality within the NFL, Scripps Howard News Service compared the lifespan of 3,850 deceased football players against that of 2,403 dead baseball players.
Among the 8,961 pro-football players born in the last 50 years, at least 130 are already dead. Among 4,382 professional baseball players, 31 are known to have died. That means 1 in every 69 football players is dead compared to 1 in every 154 baseball players.
The most common causes of death among baseball players are accidents, especially auto accidents, the study found. Only a third of the baseball players died of medical causes. But a majority (52 percent) of the deceased football players succumbed to conditions such as coronary disease, stroke and cancer.
This heightened interest follows the death of Andre Waters, who committed suicide last November at 44. Reports concluded he had brain damage that resulted from multiple concussions, which is linked to causing depression. In addition, The Boston Globe and The New York Times reported in February that 34-year-old Ted Johnson, who spent 10 years as a linebacker with the New England Patriots, shows early signs of Alzheimer’s.
John Steinke, who provides detailed product support for customers of Tango Nutrition (www.puretango.com), in fact began his medical career as an acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in sports medicine, including trauma care and performance enhancement. He noted way back then that the elite athletes he treated for their injuries all showed signs of premature aging. Football players and other contact sports athletes suffer from chronic pain disorders from frequent injury. Distance runners and triathletes develop chronic fatigue and immune disorders from over-training. This was part of what led him to developd programs using the anti-aging essence herb formulas from China to help both groups of athletes with a great deal of success. His work is highlighted in Total Impact, the autobiographical story of San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott’s playing career.
Since everybody eventually suffers from premature aging related to poor blood circulation and weak energy metabolism, John decided to offer his sports programs to the general public. He initiated contacts with leading Chinese research institutes to bring their modern formulas for aging disorders to the US.