The study – published in «British Journal of Sports Medicine» – tracked the daily health of 259 elite rugby players competing in the 2010 Super 14 Rugby Tournament. Over 16 weeks, teams from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand played in all three countries. For matches played outside home turf after international travel, illness incidence was higher. Infections accounted for most of the reported illnesses. They suggest that various stressors could be involved, including changes in pollution, temperature, allergens, humidity, altitude, as well as different food, germs, and culture. It is suggested that increased illness from travel is more likely to be due to the fact that the person is out of their normal environment instead of flying.
One of the authors, Prof Schwellnus said: «These findings could be relevant to the Olympics and might contribute to a home advantage.» Will there be this, one of the reasons because home atheletes win more medals at Olympics? Tell us what you think..
** International travel makes athletes ill / By Anna-Marie Lever/ BBC.com / 09-August-2012
** Crossing 5+ time zones more than doubles illness risk for elite athletes / By Stephanie Burns /Eurekalert.org
** Elite athletes travelling to international destinations >5 time zone differences from their home country have a 2–3-fold increased risk of illness / Abstract
By Martin P Schwellnus ,Wayne Elton Derman et al / British Journal of Sports Medicine -June 2012