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Infographic. Surfing and health
  1. Anna Onderková
  1. Science Communication Unit, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anna Onderková, Imperial College London, London, UK; annaonderkova{at}

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Surfing is an ancient sport that has become increasingly popular and recently debuted on the world stage in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.1 With more people taking up the sport, it is crucial to examine the holistic effects of surfing on mental and physical health.

Surfing as a physical activity

Surfing is moderate-to-vigorous exercise, and recreational surfers of all ages can achieve sufficiently high exercise intensities and durations to satisfy recommendations for cardiovascular health.2 It entails paddling, stationary anticipation of a wave, and actual wave-riding.1 The remaining time may be spent breath-holding underwater, swimming …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.