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Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. Vol. 8, Iss. 17, December 2013

Occupational accidents in professional dance with focus on gender differences


Background Classical dance comprises gender specific movement tasks. There is a lack of studies which investigate work related traumatic injuries in terms of gender specific differences in detail.

Objective To define gender related differences of occupational accidents.

Methods Basis for the evaluation were occupational injuries of professional dancers from three (n = 785; f: n = 358, m: n = 427) state theatres.

Results The incidence rate (0.36 per year) was higher in males (m: 0.45, f: 0.29). There were gender specific differences as to the localizations of injuries, particularly the spine region (m: 17.3%, f: 9.8%, p = 0.05) and ankle joint (m: 23.7%, f: 35.5%, p = 0.003). Compared to male dancers, females sustained more injuries resulting from extrinsic factors. Significant differences could specifically be observed with dance floors (m: 8.8%, f: 15.1%, p = 0.02). There were also significant gender differences observed with movement vocabulary.

Conclusion The clearly defined gender specific movement activities in classical dance are reflected in occupational accidents sustained. Organisational structures as well as work environment represent a burden likewise to male and female dancers. The presented differences support the development of gender specific injury prevention measures.


Ballet, Dancer, Female, Male, Traumatic injury

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