Kaylynn Popp

Major: Kinesiology
Mentor: Dr. Rachel Swinford

The prevalence of injuries, healthcare interactions, and demographics of the North American pole dance fitness community

Pole dance fitness is a relatively new form of fitness that has transformed from its previous background of exotic dance into a sport that has multiple physical and mental benefits. As with every athletic endeavor, injuries are possible. The aim of this study is to describe the North American pole dance fitness population, common injuries obtained, and the response of healthcare professionals. An online questionnaire was sent to nearly 500 studios and contained questions regarding participation, injuries experienced, healthcare responses, and demographics. A total of 217 responses were analyzed using SPSS 28 and thematic content analysis, and 174 identified as female. 69.2% reported experiencing at least one injury with strains as the most reported type and shoulders as the most common location. 64.8% of those individuals reported seeing a healthcare specialist, and most people described their interaction as professional or positive. Injury prevalence was comparable to other sport injuries, including the location at which injuries occurred. While healthcare interactions were mainly positive, most participants thought they did not completely understand the physical requirements for pole dance fitness. Healthcare professionals should attempt to be more cognizant of the injuries related to pole dance fitness, and studio instructors should attempt to reduce the number of injuries experienced by implementing proper warm-up and appropriate strength activities. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the pole dance fitness population in North America as well as their interaction with healthcare professionals in injury treatment.