Forbes List of Healthiest Sports

In 2003 Forbes first published their list of the 10 healthiest sports, based on a calculation using four physiological components of fitness, plus injury risk and energy expenditure.

Top 10 List of Healthiest Sports

The sport of squash was found to be the healthiest sport, according to Forbes and the calculations based on expert feedback. It is not clear of other sports were also compared and these where the top sports. There are many other sports that should be considered. It is also hard to believe that they rated the injury risk of boxing less than for running and basketball. Anyway, again an interesting exercise, and squash is a worthy winner of the healthiest sport.

rating Sport cardio endurance strength muscle endurance flexibility calories rating (cal) injury risk total
1 squash 4.5 3 5 3 5 (517) 2 22.5
2 rowing 5 4 5 3 2 (302) 3 22
3 rock climbing 1 5 4 5 5 (475) 2 22
4 swimming 4.75 3 5 3 2 (345) 3 20.75
5 cross-country skiing 5 3.5 5 3 2 (345) 2 20.5
6 basketball 4 3 5 4 2 ( 302) 1 19
7 cycling 5 3 5 4 (or 1?) 4 (431) 1 19 *
8 running 5 3 4 1.5 4 (431) 1 18.5
9 modern pentathlon 4.5 3 5 3 1 (264) 2 18.5
10 boxing 3.5 3 5 2 2 (302) 2 17.5

note: on all published lists, cycling is listed in 7th position. However, using the data supplied by Forbes, their total rating adds up to 22 which would put them in equal second place. We believe that the flexibility score is wrong and should be 1 instead of 4, and the position in the table is correct.

Method

They chose to compare the sports based on four basic physiological components of fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility, which is just a sample of the 15 factors of success in sports. For each component they asked fitness experts (coaches, personal trainers, competitors and exercise physiologists) to rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “excellent,” 4 being “darn good,” 3 being “good,” 2 being “not bad” and 1 being “nothing special.” Injury risk was rated on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being “low,” 2 being “so-so” and 1 being “high.” The energy expenditure rating was based on the calories expended by a 190-pound person over 30 minutes (rates from ACSM), and rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being 450+ calories, 4 being 400-450 calories, 3 being 350-400 calories, 2 being 300-350 calories and 1 being 250-300 calories. Calorie burn; whenever possible, we selected the rate for “moderate” or similar intensity. The scores for each component was tallied to arrive at an individual rating for each sport.

Source: www.forbes.com

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