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exercise is medicine

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From a legal point of view, sports medical team care is characterized by various areas of tension. In particular, sports physicians have to balance health protection with patient autonomy, professional secrecy with the protective rights of third parties, and enhancing physical performance with fair competition. These dilemmas occur in extremely compressed form in the case of head injuries during competition.
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Gendered norms, stereotypes and biases implicitly influence our thoughts, attitudes and behaviours. These often lead to gender inequity, a phenomenon inherent in society and reflected in its various contexts. The increasing awareness of this inequity is leading to reflection and changes in society as a whole and its communities, organisations and institutions. In scientific disciplines, gender inequity has been, and still is, a point of discussion and consideration. In many cases, these discussions have led to positive and sustainable changes at both a structural as well as a policy level. This opinion piece discusses gender inequity in the context of sport science and, in particular, sport medicine in Switzerland.
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In competitive sports, mental health and well-being is of great significance [1]. This applies to the active phase, as well as the time after the career. Mental disorders are common in competitive sports [2]. Physical and psychological well-being and performance in sports relate to each other [2]: Emotional strains and illnesses in sport may have an influence on the performance, may increase the risk for injuries and may lengthen rehabilitation. Injuries have an influence on the performance, too, and are strains and risks for mental health. The requirements in elite sports call for a safe and sound judgement and handling with strains and risks for mental health, as well as in diagnosis and treatment on illness [1].
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Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common psychiatric disorder in the peripartum period affecting approximately 8% of European women without prior psychiatric history [1] and even more with pre-existing depressive disorders. Up to 70% of new mothers develop mild depressive symptoms called “baby-blues” which include weepiness, sadness and mood lability.
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Women in sport – an almost inexhaustible topic that has been neglected for a long time. Female Athletes conquer discipline after discipline – including the associated injuries. Common sports injuries in female athletes include stress fractures, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and sport related concussions (SRC). Less commonly recognized are the specific sex differences that lead to these injuries. An understanding of these factors can improve their clinical management including surgical treatment, the rehabilitation phase and return to play.
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The positive effects of light to moderately intensive physical activity during pregnancy are not in question. Corresponding exercise recommendations can be found in national and international guidelines, which show a relatively solid evidence base. However, there are large knowledge gaps with respect to training recommendations for ambitious amateur sportswomen and elite athletes. Therefore, among both athletes and their supporting staff there is a large degree of uncertainty, which sports activity and to what extent it can be maintained safely without risk to the mother and her unborn child. In addition to the consideration of contraindications, where sporting activities must be avoided, there are certain training-associated precautions (e.g. when training at high altitude or in hot conditions) that should be respected.
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Female athletes who are concerned with their own cycle can make better use of benefits and better control the negative effects of it through targeted training adjustments. However, there are still few studies that deal with the sport-specific advantages and disadvantages of the female cycle. Hormonal contraception should also be selected individually to suit the type of sport and any complaints the athlete may have.
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It is well known that girls who play sports stay in school longer and reach higher levels of education. They suffer fewer health problems, enter the labor force at higher rates and are more likely to take up leadership positions. A study by EY shows that more than 94% of female C-Suite executives today played competitive sport, and over 50% played at university level [1].
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