Epidemiology of injuries associated with physical training among young men in the army

Bruce H. Jones, David N. Cowan, J. Pitt Tomlinson, John R. Robinson, David W. Polly, Peter N. Frykman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

320 Scopus citations


It is widely acknowledged that musculoskeletal injuries occur as a result of vigorous physical activity and exercise, but little quantitative documentation exists on the incidence of or risk factors for these injuries. This study was conducted to assess the incidence, types, and risk factors for training-related injuries among young men undergoing Army infantry basic training. Prior to training we evaluated 303 men (median age 19 yr), utilizing questionnaires and measurements of physical fitness. Subjects were followed over 12 wk of training. Physical training was documented on a daily basis, and injuries were ascertained by review of medical records for every trainee. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses of the data. Cumulative incidence of subjects with one or more lower extremity training-related injury was 37% (80% of all injuries). The most common injuries were muscle strains, sprains, and overuse knee conditions. A number of risk factors were identified, including: older age, smoking, previous injury (sprained ankles), low levels of previous occupational and physical activity, low frequency of running before entry into the Army, flexibility (both high and low), low physical fitness on entry, and unit training (high running mileage).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993


  • Exercise
  • Incidence
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Physical activity
  • Risk factors

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