The objective of this study was to provide an epidemiologic basis for planning community programmes preventing injuries during leisure physical activity, especially participation in sports. A total population survey of unintentional injuries was carried out in an area with a population of over 41,000. All sports injuries (n = 933) occurring within a 12-month period and requiring medical care were noted, giving a ratio of 22.5 per 1000 inhabitants. The majority of the injuries occurred in soccer (38.9%), followed by injuries in basketball/volleyball/handball (10.9%), and bandy/hockey (9.2%). The results correspond to previous studies in southern Scandinavia. In northern communities, the proportion of injuries in winter sports has been shown to be higher. Identification of these similarities and differences between the studies makes it possible to use the findings together in the design of general community-based sports injury prevention programmes suited to northern European conditions.