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Impact Health Study
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UW teams up with NFL for football impact study

Story By Cooper Henckel
Local News Published 11/23/2021 3:05PM, Last Updated 11/23/2021 6:06PM
Madison - Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are partnering with the NFL to study on-field impacts.

"One of the unique aspects of this study is the ability to take these measurements on the field of play," said Daniel Cobian, assistant professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation.

The joint study isn't the first to measure gameplay impacts and injuries. What makes this one special is where the measuring takes place.

"We know across all injuries that the incidents and the severity of injury is much higher during competitive sport than practice," said Cobian.

Student athletes from around the U.S. will wear special mouth guards during games.

"So these are essentially a traditional mouth guard that would typically be worn for sport, for football, with an added layer, an added accelerometry equipment that is molded into the front of the mouth guard," said Cobian.

That extra layer will gather impact data, like how your head jerks, how hard you bite down, and other key information that the NFL's engineers will collect and analyze.

"That is a great partner institution for us to be able to continue these types of investigations with the ultimate goal of enhancing the safety, health, and wellness of our student athletes," said Cobian.

The NFL launched its $60 million commitment back in 2019. Student athletes can opt into the program, helping shape preventative policy for years to come.
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