Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Varying Fitness Routines in the Military and Sports Training Reduces Injury Rates

Fitness is an important aspect of life. The variety of fitness activities, sleep, and overall rigor may have an important impact on both health and exposure to injury. Injury costs time, money, and pain and therefore should be avoided.  Researchers Wyss, et. al. (2014) wanted to study how injuries occur in military practice. They looked at 12 basic training centers and volunteers to determine whether certain practices are raising injury in Swiss Military training. 

Repetitive patterns of training can cause injury. When sports players and military members complete the same activities over and over they run the risk of potential injury. The same process occurs when running every day with no rest, using the same movements repetitive, or not cross training causes an injury. Adjusting these patterns can improve both health and reduce overall risks while lowering fatigue.

The study used body monitoring equipment, logs, and injury reports to assess the results. They tested measures like body heat, heart rate, movement and more. Their goal was to measure the physiological response of activities and training on the recruits to understand what was going on before injury. Through these methods they were able to create specific and general findings that can be applied both to the military and other areas of study.

An average of 18 injuries out of 100 people were recorded each month.  Each injury cost about $2,000. The majority of injuries were musculoskeletal types based in basic physical training. They found that high monotony and lack of conditioning before engaging in rigorous activity caused injury. Time spent in repetitive material handling also increased injury risks. Most of the injuries occurred during fitness training but these may be a focal stress point based in other daily activities. The recruits slept about 7 hours a night with 6.5 in actual sleep thereby increasing injury risks in other areas. 

The authors recommend adjusting fitness to include other sporting activities to change the type of motion and pressure points of injury. They encourage using some time in walking, marching, jogging, and other physical sporting activities while not reducing the necessary training quality. Likewise, rest and recovery were extremely important in training (military or sports training) and recommend moving the time up to 8 hours. Total factors measured accounted for 98.8% of injury variance and can be controlled while improving fitness output. 

Wyss, et. al. (2014). Impact of Training Patterns on Injury Incidences in 12 Swiss Army Basic Military Training Schools. Military Medicine, 179 (1).

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