Sport video selfies greatly increase risky behaviour, study finds

Quebec researchers have found people who film themselves while hitting the slopes are significantly more likely to ramp up the risk and hurt themselves.

Researchers suggest more warning signs needed at slopes

Researchers found people are more likely to perform risky stunts while the cameras are rolling. (The Associated Press)

It may be time to take a break from the GoPro. 

New research from the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi found people who film themselves while participating in a sport are four times more likely to get injured.

They surveyed 224 people who ski, snowboard and kite-surfed in the 2014-2015 season in Canada.

Linda Paquette, a clinical psychologist who led the study, says the jump in injuries among those who said they filmed themselves can be attributed to increased risk-taking.

Upping the ante when an audience is around is a well documented phenomena, especially among youth and men, she said. 

Linda Paquette says social media has afforded risk takers a wider audience. (CBC NEWS)

"What's new is that now you always have a wider audience in your pocket, in your hand, with your smartphone, or with a GoPro camera," Paquette said.

She says many people share their videos on social media, making their audience almost limitless.

Pushing it

Skier and snowboarder Louis Rancourt says he likes to film himself and his friends when he rides, but admits the temptation to go to the extreme is there. 

"You've got the camera, when you know there is a shot on you, you try to push a little bit harder," Rancourt says.

He says that's especially true in the snow park.

"You want to make a little video at the end with all the good shots, so you try to do your best to have a better video at the end of the season," he says, adding he shares his videos with his friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Louis Rancourt admits he tends to "push harder" when he's snowboarding and knows he's being filmed. (Marika Wheeler (CBC NEWS))

Cameras not all bad

Paquette says cameras on hills aren't a bad thing, but she suggests that ski resorts run publicity campaigns warning people against showing off for the camera.

She also says cameras in drones could be used as a safety device to detect people who have fallen and are injured.

Her research is preliminary but she plans to publish it in the Accident Analysis and Prevention Journal in the new year.


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