OBJECTIVE: To determine the musculoskeletal problems associated with high intensity physical exercise among non-athletic youth subjects. METHODS: 484 fresh Nigerian graduates participating in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme were studied. At the start of the four week intensive physical training which formed part of the orientation course for the programme, the subjects completed a questionnaire designed to determine their previous exercise habit. The physical training consisted of jogging, physical drills, games (soccer and volleyball), and man o'war activities. During the period of physical training, the subjects were instructed to report all ailments to the camp clinic. RESULTS: Muscular pain/soreness and injuries were major problems associated with the exercise. The lower limbs were most affected and the ankle joint was found to be more injury-prone than other joints. CONCLUSIONS: Most of these graduates were physically unfit and the intense fitness programme produced adverse effects on their physical health. Precamp physical preparation would be desirable.
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