Purpose: The objective of this survey was to estimate the frequency of injuries associated with five commonly performed moderately intense activities: walking for exercise, gardening and yard work, weightlifting, aerobic dance, and outdoor bicycling.
Methods: National estimates were derived from weighted responses of over 5,000 individuals contacted between April 28 and September 18, 1994, via random-digit dialing of U.S. residential telephone numbers. Self-reported participation in these five activities in the late spring and summer of 1994 was common, ranging from an estimated 14.5 +/- 1.2% of the population for aerobics (nearly 30 million people) to 73.0 +/- 1.5% for walking (about 138 million people).
Results: Among participants, the activity-specific 30-d prevalence of injury ranged from 0.9 +- 0.5% for outdoor bicycle riding to 2.4 +- 1.3% for weightlifting. The estimated number in the 30 d of people injured in the 30 d before their interview ranged from 330,000 for outdoor bicycle riding to 2.1 million for gardening or yard work. Incidence rates for injury causing reduced participation in activity were 1.1 +/- 0.5x100 participantsx30 d for walking, 1.1 +/- 0.4 for gardening, and 3.3 +/- 1.9 for weightlifting. During walking and gardening, men and women were equally likely to be injured, but younger people (18-44 yr) were more likely to be injured than older people (45 + yr). Injury rates were low, yet large numbers of people were injured because participation rates were high. Most injuries were minor, but injuries may reduce participation in these otherwise beneficial activities.
Conclusions: Additional studies to confirm the magnitude of the problem, to identify modifiable risk factors, and to recommend methods to reduce the frequency of such injuries are needed.