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Am J Sports Med. 2010 Apr;38(4):765-71. doi: 10.1177/0363546509351560. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Epidemiology of weight training-related injuries presenting to United States emergency departments, 1990 to 2007.

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The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Center for Injury Research and Policy, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.



As participation in weight training in the United States increases, the number of persons at injury risk increases.


To examine weight training-related injuries in patients presenting to US emergency departments from 1990 to 2007. Study Design Descriptive epidemiology study.


Weight training-related injury data were analyzed from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Sample weights provided by this organization calculated national estimates of weight training-related injuries from the 100-hospital sample.


From 1990 to 2007, 25 335 weight training injuries were seen in US emergency departments, correlating to an estimated 970 801 injuries nationwide. Patients' mean age was 27.6 years (range, 6-100 years); 82.3% were male. The upper trunk (25.3%) and lower trunk (19.7%) were the most commonly injured body parts. The most common diagnosis was sprain/strain (46.1%). The most common mechanism of injury was weights dropping on the person (65.5%). A large number of injuries occurred with free weights (90.4%). Males had a larger proportion of upper trunk injuries (26.8%; injury proportion ratio [IPR], 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.36-1.57; P <.001) than females (18.4%). Females had a larger proportion of foot injuries (22.9%; IPR, 2.09; 95% CI: 1.93-2.26; P <.001) than males (11.0%). Persons 12 years and younger had a larger proportion of hand (37.9%; IPR, 2.08; 95% CI: 1.76-2.46; P <.001) injuries than persons 13 years or older (18.2%). Persons 55 years and older were injured more when using machines (18.2%; IPR, 1.96; 95% CI: 1.47-2.61, P <.001) than persons 54 years and younger (9.3%). Persons using free weights sustained a greater proportion of fractures/dislocations (23.6%; IPR, 2.44; 95% CI: 1.92-3.09; P <.001) than persons using machines (9.7%).


Further research is needed to drive development of targeted, age- and gender-specific, evidence-based injury prevention strategies to decrease injury rates among weight training participants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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