Background With over 20 years of taekwondo concussion research highlighting the high incidence of injury, previous studies recommend an investigation of headgear impact attenuation performance.
Objective To examine impact attenuation differences between the anterior, posterior and sides of selected taekwondo headgear brands.
Setting Biomechanics laboratory.
Methods Five different commercially available taekwondo headgear were selected for impact testing. A 50th percentile Hybrid II Dummy Crash Test head and neck was fitted with the selected helmet and was bolted to a 25 kg steel torso-like structure. Each headgear model was impacted eight times to the anterior, posterior and sides by a 6.75 kg bowling ball at three heights to produce 52.25, 85 and 144 J strikes.
Main outcome measurements Resultant head linear acceleration.
Results Two-way (Helmet×Location) mixed analysis of variance with repeated measures on the second factor was performed to determine the differences between headgear by location of impact. There was a two-way (Helmet×Location) interaction for acceleration (η2=0.368).
Conclusions Taekwondo headgear manufacturers and sport governing bodies must consider improving the design of especially anterior helmet properties.
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