Do we pay too dearly for our sport and leisure activities? An investigation into fatalities as a result of sporting and leisure activities in England and Wales, 1982-1988

Public Health. 1990 Nov;104(6):417-23. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(05)80084-8.


Analysis of deaths from sports and leisure activities in England and Wales during 1982-88 found that horse riding (98 deaths), air sports (92 deaths), motor sports (86 deaths) and mountaineering (74 deaths) were the most hazardous activities. The most hazardous activity for children was horse riding (19 deaths). The commonest activities resulting in drowning in adults were swimming (128 deaths) and fishing (82 deaths). The main drowning deaths in children followed swimming (24 deaths). When exposure was taken into account, mountaineering, motor sports and horseriding were found to be the most hazardous activities. Mountaineering was one hundred times more dangerous than ball games or water sports. We can expect an increase in sport and leisure accidents in the next few years. Strict control, sensible safety precautions and adequate training are paramount if we are to see any improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wales / epidemiology