Background Sports injuries are highly disadvantageous for Physical Education (PE) students, because they can lead to physical discomfort, and absence from sports classes resulting in higher study career costs.
Objective To investigate the magnitude of the injury problem in PE students and to explore risk factors for sustaining an injury.
Design A prospective cohort study with six months follow up.
Participants and setting 280 Dutch freshmen PE students.
Assessment of risk factors Prior to the start of the school year, all students underwent a medical examination to assess height, weight, percentage of body fat, blood pressure, visual acuity, muscle-skeletal functioning, and cardio-respiratory endurance. During the six months follow up, an online questionnaire was conducted on a weekly basis to monitor injuries and illnesses (OSTRC Overuse Injury Questionnaire). Furthermore, every two weeks an online questionnaire (POMS and RESTQ-Sports) was administered to measure mood and perceived stress and recovery of the students.
Main outcome measures Frequencies and characteristics of injuries and illnesses.
Results According to the OSTRC Overuse Injury Questionnaire, 22.5% of the students had physical problems regarding injuries during the first month of the school year, and 11.2% of the students were ill. Data collection will end in February 2014. We will perform a logistic regression analysis to test whether the injured students differ significantly from non injured students based on characteristics such as age, sex, body composition, and muscle-skeletal functioning.
Conclusions Preliminary results showed that the risk of sustaining an injury and becoming ill is high for freshmen PE students. Screening at the start of the school year may play an important role in identifying the students at risk.
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