Negative Effects Of Gymnastics

It’s what we see on tv that is deceiving. The sport appears to be one of only glamor and endless admiration. Each move is performed with a flawless precision that seemingly only a small percentage of our population can attempt. For many, its the highlight of the olympics, for others its just another trivial sport exhibition.

Despite the popular assumptions, the way of the gymnastics world is just about the farthest thing from glamorous or trivial. For olympic gymnasts, a majority of them end up retiring at young ages due to the intensity of this sport. Granted, there are a number of benefits of this practice, but in the long run they are far outweighed by the drawbacks. Behind the glitter, a hot debate brews regarding the malicious effects on a young female in this seemingly impossible sport.

Gymnastics is undoubtedly one of the most abusive towards the body, simply because of its demanding diet, physical stress and lack of social/emotional connections.


As if being a young girl isn’t hard enough when it came to dealing with the insecurities of weight, female gymnasts have to endure nagging remarks from their coaches regarding the ideal thin body. The obsession with unhealthily low weights has caused anorexia and bulimia in more than a few gymnasts, in some cases it has even led to death.

Though many gymnasts are healthy, not all of them are. Generally, athletes across the board are at a higher risk for developing an eating disorder than non-athletes; specifically, females in a sport such as gymnastics, are at the highest risk. In a 1992 NCAA survey, 51% of the gymnastics programs that took part reported eating disorders among its team members, a far greater percentage than in any other sport. (Timberline Knolls)


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