Headbanging - A Detailed Medical Analysis

Headbanging - A Detailed Medical Analysis

An amazing study has emerged showcasing the potential medical problems that headbanging poses for the metal fan. Now, we all know that it can be tough on the body: years of headbanging has taken its toll on some of the main players in metal, like ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted and Slayer frontman Tom Araya. But what we didn't know is that prevention involved that most hideous of genres, AOR. A study published in a British medical journal explains - among a wide assortment of other gut-bustingly funny things - that it does.

The study was published by the British Medical Journal. And while we reported on this study back when it was published in 2008, this is the first time we've had a detailed look of what it actually includes, such as tons of weird, unexplainable phrases like this: "Main outcome measures: Head Injury Criterion and Neck Injury Criterion were derived for head banging styles and both popular heavy metal songs and easy listening music controls."

We don't know what that means either, but it is the first time we've ever seen the words "head," "banging," "easy," and "listening" in the same sentence. We also have a hard time deciphering the graphs and charts in this study (hey, our brains are screwed from years of headbanging, okay?) but we like it. A chart showing the correlation between "head banging tempo" and "head injury criteria"? Uh, yes please. (And look at that, they rise in relation to each other, go figure.)

Then there's the intro, which claims that "young people at heavy metal concerts often report being dazed and confused." Is the Led Zep reference intentional? Subversive? An attempt to use the language of the young headbangers? (It also makes me think the whole thing might be a ruse).

Maybe it is a joke. They suggest that AC/DC should play crooner classic "Moon River" instead of "Highway to Hell" at concerts. They reference joke band Spinal Tap as a heavy metal band. They call Beavis and Butthead (yeah, the cartoon characters) "two of the greatest head bangers."

Joke or not, we're laughing: the best part of the whole thing comes at the conclusion. Turns out "mild head injury" can be caused when headbanging with a range of motion greater than 75 degrees to a song of approximately 146 beats per minute. That's totally something drunk dudes will keep in mind next time they're rocking out to "Hangar 18" at a Megadeth show. Oh, and as for the AOR connection, check it out:

"To minimise the risk of head and neck injury, head bangers should decrease their range of head and neck motion, head bang to slower tempo songs by replacing heavy metal with adult oriented rock, only head bang to every second beat, or use personal protective equipment."

Sounds like anti-metal propaganda to us. Hmm, this didn't originate from Russia, did it?

Check out the whole thing here.

Thanks to BoingBoing [via The Daily Swarm] for the heads-up.