The promotion of physical activity is a public health priority for Australia. The new "National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians" include a statement on additional health benefits of vigorous sporting and fitness activities. However, injury associated with sport and physical activity can lead to significant health care costs and consequent disabilities and reduced mobility may result in inactivity, this increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems. Consideration of injury prevention principles when promoting physical activity is therefore crucial. There are several areas of research needed in this new field. These include the importance of good quality population monitoring and the use of other data sources to determine the population-wide consequences and health costs of injury sustained during sport and physical activity. The goal is to have evidence based, educational, regulatory and other preventive strategies that can be systematically evaluated by drawing on well organised, representative population-based injury data.