Incidence of Running-Related Injuries Per 1000 h of running in Different Types of Runners: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sports Med. 2015 Jul;45(7):1017-26. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0333-8.


Background: No systematic review has identified the incidence of running-related injuries per 1000 h of running in different types of runners.

Objective: The purpose of the present review was to systematically search the literature for the incidence of running-related injuries per 1000 h of running in different types of runners, and to include the data in meta-analyses.

Data sources: A search of the PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, PEDro and Web of Science databases was conducted.

Study selection: Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened by two blinded reviewers to identify prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials reporting the incidence of running-related injuries in novice runners, recreational runners, ultra-marathon runners, and track and field athletes.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Data were extracted from all studies and comprised for further analysis. An adapted scale was applied to assess the risk of bias.

Results: After screening 815 abstracts, 13 original articles were included in the main analysis. Running-related injuries per 1000 h of running ranged from a minimum of 2.5 in a study of long-distance track and field athletes to a maximum of 33.0 in a study of novice runners. The meta-analyses revealed a weighted injury incidence of 17.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 16.7-19.1) in novice runners and 7.7 (95% CI 6.9-8.7) in recreational runners.

Limitations: Heterogeneity in definitions of injury, definition of type of runner, and outcome measures in the included full-text articles challenged comparison across studies.

Conclusion: Novice runners seem to face a significantly greater risk of injury per 1000 h of running than recreational runners.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Humans
  • Recreation
  • Running / injuries*