Acute Injuries in Student Circus Artists with Regard to Gender Specific Differences


Eileen M. Wanke 2 , * , Moira McCormack 3 , Franziska Koch 1 , Alice Wanke 4 , David A. Groneberg 2

2 Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University, Germany

3 The Royal Ballet Company, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, UK

1 Dance Medicine Department, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Berlin, Germany

4 Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Department Nursing and Management, Germany

How to Cite: Wanke E M, McCormack M, Koch F, Wanke A, Groneberg D A. Acute Injuries in Student Circus Artists with Regard to Gender Specific Differences, Asian J Sports Med. Online ahead of Print ; 3(3):34606. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34606.


Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 3 (3); 153-160
Published Online: August 31, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: December 19, 2011
Accepted: March 25, 2012


Purpose: Student circus artists train as both artists and athletes with their bodies holding the key to professional success. The daily training load of student circus artists is often associated with maximum physical and psychological stress with injuries posing a threat to a potential professional career. The purpose of this study is the differentiated analysis and evaluation of work accidents in order to initiate the development of injury preventive programs.

Methods: The 17 years of data were obtained from standardized anonymous work accident records of the Berlin State Accident Insurance (UKB) as well as a State Artist Educational School (n = 169, Male: 70; Female: 99) from student artists. Evaluation and descriptive statistics were conducted with Excel 2007 and PASW Statistics 18.

Results: The injury risk seems to be relatively low (0.3 injuries/1000h). There are gender specific differences as to the location of injuries. Only 7% of the accidents demand a break of more than 3 days. Injury patterns vary depending on the activity and the employment of props/equipment. 75.2% of work accidents have multifactorial and 24.8% exogenous causes.

Conclusions: Because physical fitness is all important in the circus arts there are numerous options for injury prevention programs that should be realized subject to gender-specific differences. Follow-ups on chronic complaints and a more individual approach are indispensable due to the very specific activities in the circus arts.

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