Athletics / Extreme Sports: What's your appetite for Risk in Sports

August 8, 2017

What's your appetite for Risk in Sports?

Everyone has different levels of risk that they are willing to take in their everyday lives. Let’s face it, some people enjoy taking risks, while others are just as happy keeping life relatively risk-free.

We all know that exercise might help us live longer while smoking may cut our lives short. However, it’s hard to change our current behaviour according to future consequences, when they are so far into the future. The concept of the microlife, invented by renowned Cambridge University professor David Spiegelhalter, provides a way to bring the results of our habits into the present.

What are Microlives?

Wondering what a microlife is? Well it turns out once we reach adulthood, we live about 60 more years which makes it roughly a million half hours. Keep in mind that one half hour is equal to one microlife. The activities that we participate in whether it’s base jumping, exercising or drinking, add or take away half-hours from our lifespan.

Let’s put this into perspective. Jogging can add one microlife to your lifespan while smoking a cigarette can subtract half a microlife. Canoeing on a weekly basis can add 10 half hours of life. You get the idea.   

So how do you know if the risk is worth the adrenaline rush? The answer changes from person to person. The big players have a higher appetite for risks and it can end up bad, if the risks aren’t calculated correctly.

Side Note: We developed a fun, free tool that does the calculation for you. Check out the Risk Navigator app to calculate your risk-reward level for hundreds of activities.

Completely avoiding serious injury or fatality when participating in extreme sports, isn't statistically possible.  However, it is possible to lower your chances of harm by better understanding how the activity that you're involved in, adds or subtracts microlives to your life. You can learn more about microlives by watching the video!