Epidemiology of physical activity‐related injuries in Chinese university students

Weicong Cai, Injury Prevention Research Center, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China
Lijie Gao, Department of Epidemiology, Shandong University School of Public Health, Jinan, China
Liping Li, Injury Prevention Research Center, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China
Yang Gao, Department of Sport and Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Cunxian Jia, Department of Epidemiology, Shandong University School of Public Health, Jinan, China
Wenda Cai, Injury Prevention Research Center, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China
Shiwei Duan, Medical Genetics Center, School of Medicine, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China
Hongjuan Zhang, School of Physical Education, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen, China

Abstract

Knowledge gaps of the physical activity‐related injury (PARI) problem among general undergraduates exist. We conducted a study in four universities, where 1421 students graded 1‐3 were interviewed face‐to‐face during April and May after their completion of the baseline survey in March and April 2017, aiming to describe the incidence and characteristics of PARI. PARI experience and physical activity (PA) participation in the past 12 months were collected. Injury incidence density (IID) and risk, and injury characteristics were evaluated for the overall sample and by gender. Pearson chi‐square or Fisher's exact tests and independent‐sample t tests were used to test between‐group differences. We found that 486 PARIs were reported totally by 289 participants, with an overall IID of 0.57 per 1000 hours of exposure (males: 1.07, females: 0.45) and an injury risk of 0.34 injuries/student/y (males: 0.52; females: 0.28). Higher IIDs were found in roller skating, football, and basketball. The majority of injuries occurred outdoors and involved the lower extremities, with sprain and strain being the primary injury types. Moreover, most injuries were new, acute, and happened in non‐contact situations. Of all injuries, 52.1% required medical attention and 64.6% resulted in inactivity of one or more days. Some significant differences were observed between males and females. Our study indicates that PARI is a public health concern among Chinese university students, which can provide direction for targeted prophylactic interventions to underpin the sex‐specific injury mechanism to reduce PARI.