By Ken Reed

For years, parents have asked themselves,” What’s the best sport for my kids?”
There are a lot of factors that go into answering that question, of course, many of them personal.  Nevertheless, folks at the Aspen Institute felt more could be done to help parents guide their children in selecting what sports to participate in.
The Healthy Sport Index is a new tool from the Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative, in partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and with the guidance of an advisory group of medical doctors, researchers, and other sports health specialists. The tool allows parents (and young athletes) to identify the sports that are the best fit for individual needs, wants, and desires.
For the Index, the ten most popular sports for boys and girls were analyzed in terms of three areas of health impacts on high school athletes:
  • Physical Activity:  How much are athletes moving their bodies at practice?
  • Safety:  How prevalent are injuries?
  • Psychosocial: How has playing a sport changed the behavior of its athletes, such as through emotional, social and academic skills?
Users of the tool can select what emphasis they want to place on each of the three categories and see a list of sports ordered based on their preferences.
“The knowledge that has propelled HSS to world leadership in musculoskeletal health gives us the opportunity and responsibility to lead also in supporting personal fulfillment and injury prevention,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and chief executive at HSS.  “The Healthy Sport Index is an example of how we are harnessing that knowledge to enable families everywhere to make the best-informed decisions based on their personal goals.”
Learn more about the Healthy Sport Index at
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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