Non-battle injury rates are a major health problem in the armed forces today. Injury rates are related to physical demands of daily military routine. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of different physical training patterns on incidences of injuries in 12 Swiss Army basic military training schools. Therefore, injury data of 1,676 voluntary participant recruits and objective sensor data on physical demands of 50 volunteers at each of 12 trainings schools were assembled. Multiple linear regression showed that high physical demands, decreasing development of distances covered on foot, monotony in weekly physical demands, little time spent on sport-related physical training, and little time for night rest were significant risk factors for injuries. Together, those variables describe 98.8% of the variances of total injury incidence rate between military training schools. The new method used to objectively assess training demands allowed this study to investigate the impact of training patterns on injury incidence in a large number of training schools. The results of this study are important for future interventions to reduce injury incidence rates in a military setting by quantifying the injury risk potential of a large number of training patterns.
Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.