“Abrupt Periods of Physical Exertion”

As a millennial, it’s not uncommon for me to see other millennials in casts. I don’t remember the cause ever being anything else than sports injuries. I’m sure it happens that young people get put in casts for car accidents, workplace accidents, beatings, etc., but I don’t remember ever coming across it. It’s always a sports injury, and it’s never basketball or soccer, it’s always skateboarding, skiing, football, mountain biking on an actual mountain, etc.

There is one way of thinking which says that, sure, these accidents happen, but you’re far more likely to wind up in the hospital if you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, not now but when you’re in your fifties. But there is the alternative of getting exercise through non-extreme means, like riding your bike through a city and not in a race. Why don’t you hear more warnings about these extreme sports? Because they are high-status, and doctors don’t want to be seen as derogating these high-status behaviors.

Sometimes it slips through. In the New York Times, an M.D. wonders where all the heart attacks are going:

Yale New Haven Hospital, where I work, has almost 300 people stricken with Covid-19, and the numbers keep rising — and yet we are not yet at capacity because of a marked decline in our usual types of patients. In more normal times, we never have so many empty beds.


{snip} In this time of social distancing, our meals, social interactions and physical activity patterns tend to be very different. Maybe we have removed some of the triggers for heart attacks and strokes, like excessive eating and drinking or abrupt periods of physical exertion. {snip}

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