Former college athletes score worse on health-related quality of life tests than those who were simply relationally active in college, according a new study from Indiana University.
The study questioned 232 former college athletes and 225 non-athletes, all of whom were between the ages of 40 and 65, and their scores were compared to a representative sample from the general U.S. population. Former athletes reported higher rates of physical limitations, major injuries, and osteoarthritis, as well as scoring lower on depression, fatigue, and sleep tests.
"Division I athletes may sacrifice their future health-related quality of life for their brief athletic career in college," lead investigator Janet Simon, a doctoral candidate in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington's Department of Kinesiology, was quoted as saying. “This may be because former Division I athletes sustain more injuries and possibly more severe injuries due to the rigor of their sport. Many of the Division I sports are not lifelong sports, so it is important for the athletes to find sports and activities that can keep them active as they age.”