Injury risk in staff cadets is associated with performance in the Army basic fitness assessment and with gender

  • Witchalls J
  • McDonald C
  • Richardson A
  • et al.
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Abstract

Introduction: Entry-level military personnel experience high rates of musculoskeletal of injury related to their age and increase in training load. The higher injury rates for females in military roles requires strategies to manage this gender-specific risk. This study assessed the association between standard military fitness tests, gender and injury risk to anatomical sites in Army staff cadets (SCDT). A further aim was to provide clear cut-off points in BFA results for command decisions over management of injury risk. Methods: Data was retrospectively collated from SCDTs in the Australian Army between 2008 and 2014, to gather their Basic Fitness Assessment (BFA) results at 6-monthly intervals during training, gender, and injury outcomes in each 6-month training block. A classification tree was developed using the classification and regression tree model to define associations between the 2.4km run, push-ups, sit-ups and gender, and the SCDTs' probability of an injury. The model was restricted to 5 levels of classification, with classification accuracy set at a level to optimize sensitivity and specificity for classification of injury risk. Results: SCDT records of 1839 BFA tests were collated, of which 279 were associated with subsequent injury. There were 164 females with 57 injuries, and 1675 males with 222 injuries. A faster 2.4km running time divided the first groups, with the biggest differential in injury risk between the faster runners ( =11degree13degree) (risk ratio, RR 2.96:1). Females in the fastest running group had a higher injury risk (risk ratio 3.28:1). Among the slowest runners, those with higher performance in the push-ups (mean>=55) had a higher injury risk than those with lower push-ups performance (mean

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Witchalls, J., McDonald, C., Richardson, A., & Newman, P. (2017). Injury risk in staff cadets is associated with performance in the Army basic fitness assessment and with gender. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20, S22–S23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.055

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