Sport, gender related to time to injury: study

August 8, 2012

Edmonton, Alberta – The type of sport played and gender – not fitness level before beginning a sport – is the strongest indicator for how soon a student athlete may be injured, according to a University of Alberta study (.pdf file).

Researchers tracked 76 student athletes participating in basketball, volleyball and ice hockey, and noted their preseason fitness levels. After comparing the students’ gender, sport played and fitness level, researchers found that the majority of preseason fitness measures did not significantly predict how quickly an athlete received an injury.

On average, female athletes suffered first injuries when 40 percent into the playing season, compared with males, who suffered a first injury an average of two-thirds through. Also, female volleyball players received an injury when less than 20 percent through a season, compared with male volleyball players at 35 percent.

The study was published July 23 in Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology.