Study Design Cross-sectional.
Objectives To determine the effect of ankle sprain on self-reported physical activity (PA) among rural high school students.
Background Ankle sprains and their long-term sequelae are believed to deter individuals from PA, negatively affecting health. College-aged individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) have demonstrated decreased PA; however, no evidence exists describing PA levels of high school-aged individuals with ankle injuries.
Methods and Measures An electronic survey was distributed to students at a high school in northwestern North Carolina. The instrument collected demographics, ankle injury history, Identification of Functional Ankle Instability (IdFAI), International Physical Activity Questionnaire, functional questionnaires, and participation in recreational activities. Respondents were stratified into 4 groups in accordance with International Ankle Consortium guidelines: uninjured (no history of ankle sprain), unstable (history of sprain and IdFAI ≥11); copers (history of sprain and IdFAI ≤10); and recently injured (history of ankle sprain within previous year). Body mass index (BMI), total MET-minutes per week, and activity choices were compared across groups using analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis test, or Pearson’s chi-squared (α=0.05).
Results BMI was not significantly different across groups (F=0.41, p=0.74); however, significant differences were detected for total MET-minutes per week (χ2=11.65, p<0.01) as unstable respondents reported more PA than uninjured respondents (unstable=4706.1±4610.6; uninjured=2592.9±2946.0), with no differences between other groups. Groups were not significantly different for participation in high school sports (χ2=4.38, p=0.22); however respondents with a history of ankle injury reported greater participation in jogging and running activities (χ2=3.99, p=0.04); team sports (χ2=8.37, p<0.01); and motor sports (χ2=4.99, p=0.03).
Conclusion Despite a history of injury and sensations of instability in the ankle, respondents with CAI reported higher activity levels than uninjured participants. As this is contrary to pre-existing hypotheses, it is possible continued PA after injury may serve to heighten sensations of instability assessed by self-reported questionnaires.
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