The role of extreme sports in lifestyle enhancement and wellness

Brymer, Eric (2009) The role of extreme sports in lifestyle enhancement and wellness. In Cuddihy, Thomas F. & Brymer, Eric G. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 26th ACHPER International Conference : Creating Active Futures, School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia., Queensland University of technology, Brisbane, Queensland, pp. 285-299.

View at publisher


Alternative sports are fast becoming the physical activity of choice. Participation rates are even outstripping more traditional activities such as golf. At their most extreme there is no second chance, the most likely outcome of a mismanaged error or accident is death. At this level participants enjoy activities such as B.A.S.E. (Buildings, Antennae, Space, Earth) jumping, big wave surfing, waterfall kayaking, extreme skiing, rope-free climbing and extreme mountaineering. Probably the most common explanation for participation in extreme sports is the notion that participation is just a matter of some people‟s need to take unnecessary risks. This study reports on findings that indicate a more positive experience. A phenomenological method was used via unstructured interviews with 15 extreme sports participants (ages 30 – 72 years) and other firsthand accounts. Extreme sport participants directly related their experience to personal transformations that spill over to life in general. Athletes report feelings of deep psychological wellbeing and meaningfulness. The extreme sport experience enables a participant to break through personal barriers and develop an understanding of their own resourcefulness and emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual capabilities. Furthermore such a breakthrough also seems to trigger a change in personal philosophy or view on life. The extreme sport experience transforms a participant though not in terms of working towards an external (social or cultural) perception of identity or towards some constructed perception of an ideal self, but by touching something within.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,090 since deposited on 21 Jan 2010
97 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 29693
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Extreme Sports, Life Enhancement, Wellbeing, Transformation
ISBN: 9781741072860
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Physical Education and Development Curriculum and Pedagogy (130210)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified (110699)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 School of Human Movement Studies, Queensland University of Technology and individual authors. Copyright in each of the papers printed herein is retained by the respective authors.
Copyright Statement: This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the copyright holders.
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2010 21:51
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:03

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page