Association Between Ambulatory Physical Activity and Injuries During United States Army Basic Combat Training

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Joseph J. Knapik
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Keith G. Hauret
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Sara Canada
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Roberto Marin
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Bruce Jones
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Background:

Associations between physical activity and injuries have been previously examined using self-reports. The present investigation examined this association using objective measures of activity and injury.

Methods:

To quantify ambulatory activity, pedometers were worn daily by recruits in 10 Army Basic Combat Training companies during the 9-week training cycle. Injuries were obtained from a medical surveillance system, defined as traumatic or overuse events resulting in a medical care provider visit. A daily questionnaire documented whether or not recruits wore the pedometers and trained with their companies for the entire day.

Results:

Training companies were categorized by activity level into 3 groups with higher activity (HA, 17,948 ± 550 steps/day), 4 with moderate activity (MA, 16,346 ± 768 steps/day) and 3 with lower activity (LA, 14,772 ± 400 steps/day). Among men, the MA and HA groups were at 1.52 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.15−2.01) and 1.94 (95% CI = 1.46−2.61) times higher injury risk, respectively, compared with the LA group. Among women, the MA and HA groups were at 1.36 (95% CI = 1.07−1.73) and 1.53 (95% CI = 1.24−1.89) times higher injury risk, respectively, compared with low LA group. The relationships remained significant after considering physical characteristics and physical fitness.

Conclusions:

In consonance with previous self-report studies, higher physical activity was associated with higher injury risk.

Knapik, Hauret, and Jones are with the Dept of Injury Prevention, US Army Public Health Command (Provisional), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Canada is with the Physician Assistant Program, Towson University, Towson, MD. Marin is with the Dept of Occupational Medicine, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC.

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