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Top image credit: Photographer: Kien Quan

Study conducted on injuries in breakdancing

By guest contributor, Nefeli Tsiouti, a graduate of MSc dance science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and a BSc student in physical therapy at European University Cyprus

Although the demands of breakdancing are high, research into injury has been limited. I have conducted, in collaboration with Professor Matthew Wyon, the first study on Injury Occurrence in Breaking, with 433 participants, which sheds light on training patterns, common injuries and health approaches of breakers. The data was presented at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science annual conference in Texas in October and at the Healthy Dancer Canada annual conference in Calgary, Canada. The study found that, out of 320 breakers, the highest prevalence of injuries was on the arms/hands, shoulders, knees and neck, with the ankles and groin a close second.

Breaking has been a global phenomenon in recent years, manifested in battles (competitions) every single week in many countries worldwide, taking the body through extreme ranges of motion – from a biomechanical perspective – but also challenging the physiological demands of the breakers at intensities higher than has been recorded in other dance genres.1

The axis of the body is very often ‘down’ in breaking; therefore, the impact on the joints and the demands on the upper body to generate the movement are high and also unnatural in terms of the principles of functional movement. A study we conducted in 2015 at the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health at UCL showed that fatigue not only has a significant negative impact on the stability of specific foundational breaking movements, but it can also reduce the force with which breakers get into certain movements. This finding suggests that fatigue may lead to injuries in relation to pressure and weight distribution; however, the fitter the breaker, the less likely they are to get injured.2

It has been concluded from the research field of Project Breakalign, a prevention of injuries research project I have been managing since 2013, that there is something missing for the breakers: a tool they can use to educate themselves on prevention of injuries. Therefore, my research team of 15 international researchers/dancers and I conducted a 1.5-year-long research programme during which we created the Breakalign Method, a conditioning programme based on the analysis of the biomechanical and physiological demands of breaking and funded by the Centre National de la Danse in France. More information on the Breakalign Method and the project can be found at


  1. According to cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular data from elite breakers in London, which is in the process of being published by Tsiouti N and Redding E.
  2. Tsiouti N, Constantinou T, Philip K, Sanchez E, Paton B (2016), Evaluating the relationship between fatigue, pressure and weight distribution on the upper limb in breakers, Revista Movimenta, 9(4): 659-664. (


Former Paralympian Marc Woods appointed new CIMSPA chair 

CIMSPA has appointed Marc Woods, a multiple Paralympic gold medallist, BBC commentator, author and conference speaker, as its new chair. He succeeds Andy Reed OBE, who is standing down after serving for one year as interim chair. His board-level experience includes the Teenage Cancer Trust, Youth Sport Direct and the Youth Sport Trust.

Woods says, “I am delighted to be appointed as CIMSPA chair at an exciting time for the chartered institute, following the recent investment by Sport England. I’d like to thank the outgoing chair Andy Reed for all his hard work at CIMSPA, and look forward to building on the success achieved under the leadership of both CEO Tara Dillon and Andy. This includes creating a sustainable financial future for the organisation, strengthening its capabilities, delivering on the professional standards the sector has asked us for, and growing our membership.

“Over the forthcoming weeks I will be working closely with the CIMSPA team and our board of trustees as we focus on developing and improving our key stakeholder relationships.”

Tara Dillon, CIMSPA CEO, adds, “On behalf of CIMSPA, I would like to welcome Marc on board as CIMSPA chair. As a chartered professional body it is vital we have an experienced chair in place to help drive forward our agenda. He brings a wealth of experience and skills to the chartered institute and will help connect CIMSPA to policy makers at the highest level.”

Marc Woods’ appointment follows the announcement that CIMSPA has secured £1.2million in investment funding from Sport England to drive its workforce improvement project.


Liver disease on the rise in the UK

A new report published yesterday in the Lancet warns that liver disease in the UK is continuing to rise, affecting the poorest groups and lowering economic productivity. Experts argue insufficient measures are being taken to control the main lifestyle risk factors driving this largely preventable disease, namely alcohol consumption, obesity and viral hepatitis.

The findings are presented in the fourth report of the Lancet Standing Commission on Liver Disease in the UK. Figures show that death rates from liver disease are higher among middle-aged and lower-income groups and the report indicates that liver disease is set to overtake ischaemic heart disease as the leading cause of premature mortality in the next two years.

Professor Roger Williams, CBE, chairman of the Commission, says, “For too long, the diagnosis and care of patients with liver disease has been hampered by the stigma associated with the illness but the reality now is that this is not a disease of the few but of wide sections of the population. Doctors, healthcare workers, the general public, Government – we cannot stand by and allow this disease burden to grow unchecked when we can take action now to improve the nation’s health.”

Judi Rhys, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, adds, “This report suggests that over 18 million people in the UK could potentially have non-alcohol related fatty liver disease but only around 600,000 of these are currently recorded on GP records. In addition, many of us are putting our livers at risk from drinking too much alcohol. The shocking numbers highlighted show that we are facing a liver disease crisis. There is an enormous cost benefit to addressing liver disease early and we should make sure that primary care practitioners have all of the tools and levers they need to enable early diagnosis and prevention.”

Unless trends are reversed, the Commission estimates that the consequences of alcohol misuse will cost the NHS £17 billion over the next five years and failure to take action on obesity could add a further £1.9-2 billion a year.