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This study investigates the relationships between physical activity (PA), sports participation and sensation seeking or aggression and injury risk in young men.
A representative cohort study was conducted with 4686 conscripts for the Swiss army. Risk factors assessed at baseline were PA, the frequency of sports participation, sensation seeking, and aggression. The number of injuries during the past 12 months was reported 16 months after baseline. Exposure to moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA) was estimated based on baseline PA.
Among conscripts, 48.5% reported at least 1 injury for the past 12 months. After accounting for exposure to MVPA, the most inactive individuals (reference group) had the highest injury risk and those with high levels of PA and weekly sports participation the lowest (Poisson regression analysis: incidence rate ratio = 0.14 [0.12–0.16]). Independent of activity level, sensation seeking increased cumulative injury incidence significantly (Logistic regression analysis [injured vs. not injured]: odds ratio = 1.29 [1.02–1.63]) and incidence rates marginally. Aggression was marginally associated only with cumulative injury incidence and only in those participating in daily sports.
When accounting for exposure to PA, being inactive is a strong injury risk factor in young men, whereas the roles of the personality variables are less clear.
The authors are with the Dept of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.