Sports- and Recreation-related Injury Episodes in the United States, 2011-2014

Natl Health Stat Report. 2016 Nov:(99):1-12.


Objective-Much of the research on sports- and recreation-related injuries focuses on a specific population, activity, or type of injury, and national estimates of the total burden of sports- and recreation-related injuries are limited. This study provides national estimates of the injury burden and examines the distribution of sports- and recreation-related injuries across demographic groups, activities, and injury circumstances. Methods-Information on medically attended injury episodes for persons aged 5 years and over were obtained from the 2011-2014 National Health Interview Survey. Sports- and recreation-related injuries are categorized by the associated activity using a classification scheme based on the International Classification of External Causes of Injury. Results-An average annual estimate of 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injury episodes was reported, with an age-adjusted rate of 34.1 per 1,000 population. Males (61.3%) and persons aged 5-24 years (64.9%) accounted for more than one-half of injury episodes. Injury rates were higher among males, children aged 5-14 years, and non-Hispanic white persons than for their counterparts. One-half of the sports- and recreation-related injury episodes (50.0%) resulted in treatment at a doctor's office or other health clinic without an emergency department visit or hospitalization. Overall, general exercise was the most frequently mentioned activity associated with sports- and recreation-related injuries, but types of activities varied across sex and age groups. Body regions injured while engaging in sports and recreation activities included the lower extremity (42.0%), upper extremity (30.3%), and head and neck (16.4%). Conclusion-As the nation continues to recognize the importance of physical activity to maintain health, more research efforts are needed to examine sport and recreation injury across various activities, demographic groups, and health care settings, especially settings other than emergency departments and hospitals.

Keywords: exercise • nonfatal injury • National Health Interview Survey..

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recreation
  • Sports
  • United States
  • Young Adult