More children being injured more often. A worrying trend

A new study has reported that half of the subjects included in the study will report at least one PA-related injury during the course of a year.

These results indicate that adolescent physical activity-related injuries are a large-scale public health problem. The results show a worrisome rise in injury prevalence in recent years. From a public health standpoint, there is an urgent need to invest in injury prevention to reverse this trend.

With sport club activities gaining popularity and nearly half of the adolescents participating in sports club activities getting injured, the greatest effort should be directed there. Preventative measures are necessary among boys and girls equally and in all age groups.

Prevalence of adolescent physical activity-related injuries in sports, leisure time, and school: the National Physical Activity Behaviour Study for children and Adolescents.

Räisänen et al, BMC Musculoskeletal DisordersBMC series 2018 19:58

Background

The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of adolescent physical activity-related injuries in sports club activities, leisure time physical activity and school-based physical activity. The secondary aim was to investigate the differences in the prevalence of physical activity -related injuries between years 2014 and 2016. In addition, we set out to study the associations between age, sex and the frequency of physical activity and injury prevalence.

Methods

This cross-sectional study is based on the National Physical Activity Behaviour Study for Children and Adolescents (LIITU in Finnish) conducted in years 2014 and 2016. The subjects completed an online questionnaire in the classroom during school hours. A total of 8406 subjects participated in the current study. Out of these, 49% were boys and 51% were girls. The proportions of 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds were 35%, 34% and 31%, respectively.

Results

In the combined data for 2014 and 2016, injury prevalence was higher in sports club activities (46%, 95% CI 44.8–47.8) than in leisure time PA (30%, 95% CI, 28.5–30.5) or school-based PA (18%, 95% CI, 17.4–19.1). In leisure time PA, the injury prevalence was higher than in school-based PA. In all the three settings, injury prevalence was higher in 2016 than in 2014. Frequency of PA was associated with a higher risk for PA-related injuries in sports clubs and leisure time.

Conclusions

With half of the subjects reporting at least one PA-related injury during the past year, results indicate that adolescent PA-related injuries are a large-scale problem. There is a worrisome rise in injury prevalence in recent years. From a public health standpoint, there is an urgent need to invest in injury prevention to reverse this trend.

You can read the full paper in its entirety here.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical

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