Protecting the health of the athletes: what happens after retirement?

William RobertsChair: William Roberts (USA) - Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, EUA.

Yannis PitsiladisChair: Yannis Pitsiladis (GRC) - FIMS Reference Collaborating Centre of Sports Medicine for Anti-Doping Research, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, United Kingdom.


Compared to non-athletes, elite athletes experience more severe injuries -- and long-term effects of those injuries. Former elite athletes also score worse on depression, fatigue and sleep scales. A study of former elite athletes between 40 and 65 years old compared to a representative sample of the U.S. population in the same age range showed:
• Former athletes were more than twice as likely as non-athletes to report physical activity limitations to daily activities and exercise.
• 67 percent of the athletes reported sustaining a major injury and 50 percent reported chronic injuries, compared to 28 percent and 26 percent respectively for non-athletes.
• 70 percent of athletes reported practicing or performing with an injury, compared to 33 percent on non-athletes.
• 40 percent of athletes reported being diagnosed with osteoarthritis after college compared to 24 percent of the non-athletes. Osteoarthritis has been linked to previous joint injuries.
Other issues include blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, repeated concussion and brain function, obesity, and orthopedic issues like spine disc disease and joint replacement. Athletes often have access to a range of expertise during their competitive years, including strength and conditioning coaches and nutritionists, but they often find themselves on their own after retiring. Many elites are participating in sports that are not lifelong activities, so it is important for the athletes to find alternate sports and activities that can keep them active as they age. The most important thing is to stay active for long term quality of life. Continued activity and healthy lifestyle counseling and education should be an expected part of the transition out of the elite and professional level athletics.
This symposium will address several general area of health concern for retired elite athletes:
• Mental Health
• General health - obesity and blood pressure
• Heart issues
• Brain and Concussion
• Bones and Joints


William Roberts1.William Roberts (USA) - Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, EUA.

Title Presentation: Physical well-being post-retirement

Marcelo Callegari Zanetti2.Marcelo Callegari Zanetti (BRA) - Graduated in Physical Education (FFCL), Master in Human Kinetics Science (UNESP), Doctor and post-doctoral student in Human Development and Technologies (UNESP). Member of the Laboratory of Studies and Research in Sport Psychology (LEPESPE). Accomplished doctoral stage at Laboratoire de Méthodes et Psychométriques experimental / Groupe d'études en Méthodes Psychométriques Appliquées à la Psychologie du Sport at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Canada). Professor in undergraduate courses of UNIP Sao Jose do Rio Pardo and undergraduate and graduate program (Masters and PhD) from the University São Judas Tadeu (SP). Member of the board of the Brazilian Association of Sport Psychology and Exercise (ABEPEEx).

Title Presentation: Psychological implications of career termination in Brazilian top level athletes