What we do

Research Department

ASO is in collaboration with the researchers of Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe) at the Ohio University. This group comprises esteemed experts with decades of experience in athletics, entertainment, dance, music and stunt performers (Industrial Athletes).

Dr. Russell and Dr. McMichael, alongside other esteemed colleagues, have amassed extensive research data on Head Trauma and Concussions among stunt performers in film and television. The following ‘link’ below is their exploratory study.

See more at: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr Leslie McMichael
Dr Jeff Russell


Our research initiatives concentrate on innovations in stunt safety, equipment, and techniques, with the goal of advancing safety standards within the film and entertainment industry. Through our collaboration with NeuroFlex and SHAPe, there exists significant potential to transform health and rehabilitation, specifically for stunt performers (Industrial Athletes). This involves merging SHAPe’s research data and NeuroFlex’s discoveries with expert evaluations and treatments, with the aim of precisely diagnosing concussions and further improving our rehabilitation and recovery protocols. This method is pivotal as it places emphasis on the safety and recuperation of stunt performers while facilitating their prompt return to film sets.

Are Stunt Performers Athletes?

Stunt performers are athletes in many ways, despite their unique role in the entertainment industry. Here’s an explanation of why they can be considered athletes:

  • Physical Conditioning: Stunt performers undergo extensive physical training to prepare for their roles. This training includes strength conditioning, flexibility, agility, and cardiovascular fitness, which are characteristics of traditional athletes.
  • Specialised Skills: Stunt performers develop specialised skills such as martial arts, gymnastics, parkour, and various combat techniques. These skills require years of practice and dedication, similar to athletes honing their craft.
  • Precision and Coordination: Like athletes, stunt performers must exhibit precise coordination and timing to execute complex manoeuvres safely. Whether it’s a high-flying jump or a fight sequence, their movements require precision.
  • Risk and Endurance: Stunt work often involves high levels of physical risk and endurance. Performers push their bodies to the limit, enduring gruelling stunts and recovering from injuries, akin to the physical demands placed on athletes.
  • Competition: Stunt competitions exist, where professionals are judged on the difficulty, execution, and style of their stunts. This competitive aspect mirrors traditional sports, where athletes are evaluated based on their performance.
  • Mental Resilience: Stunt performers require strong mental resilience and concentration to manage the psychological challenges and hazards inherent in their profession. Similar to athletes in high-pressure competitions, they must maintain inner composure when facing adversity.
  • Injury Prevention: Similar to athletes, stunt performers prioritise injury prevention through rigorous safety protocols, protective gear, and extensive training to minimise risks.
  • Continuous Improvement: Stunt performers continually strive to improve their skills and expand their repertoire. They train regularly to master new techniques, just as athletes aim to enhance their performance.
  • Impact on Entertainment: Stunt performers significantly impact the entertainment industry, enhancing the excitement and realism of movies, TV shows, live performances, and sports events.
  • Recognition: In many countries and within the entertainment industry, stunt performers are officially recognised as professionals, further validating their status as athletes.

In summary, stunt performers exhibit the physical conditioning, specialised skills, precision, risk management, and dedication to their craft that align with the qualities of athletes. While their field is unique, it demands athleticism and shares similarities with traditional sports in terms of physicality, training, and performance evaluation.