The results of a new study by a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which was commissioned by the NFL Players Association, may surprise you. Contrary to a myth believed by many that former NFL Players, on average, only live into his mid-50s, the study suggests that former players actually live longer than the average person.
"There had been several news articles that stated NFL players only lived into their 50s on average," the NIOSH report said. "There was no scientific proof we could find that supported this statement. We agreed that it would be important to find out if NFL players face health risks that may relate to their job." The study was originally published in 1994, but was amended and updated with more current data. In a nutshell, NIOSH took a census of 3,439 former players, and 90 percent of them were still alive at the time of the study's completion - a higher rate than would be expected for the general populace - 82 percent.
Of course - while this is encouraging, in general, for players and their families, the dangers of head trauma remain on the forefront of the NFL and Players Association's agenda. Finding ways to limit head injuries remains, as it should, a top priority for both entities, and further steps will likely be taken to make the game safer for the players - whether fans like that or not.