Epidemiology of physical activity-related injuries in Chinese university students

Weicong Cai, Lijie Gao, Liping Li*, Yang Gao*, Cunxian Jia, Wenda Yang, Shiwei Duan, Hongjuan Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1339
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number9
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

User-Defined Keywords

  • injury characteristics
  • injury incidence
  • sports injury
  • young adults


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