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Aerobic Fitness and Injury Risk

A great deal of research has emerged in the past decade that shows a correlation between aerobic fitness levels and injury risk.  This research has studied populations of elite athletes, firefighters, and Army trainees, and discovered that those with lower aerobic fitness levels are more prone to musculoskeletal injury in their given vocation or sport.

Aerobic fitness has at times been regarded as a secondary concern for athletes in sports requiring a great deal of skill and/or anaerobic fitness, strength, power, and agility.  Many working in jobs that are physically demanding or stressful have failed to prioritize regular aerobic exercise as a means of improving job safety and performance.  The abundance of research connecting aerobic fitness to injury risk brings to the forefront the idea that aerobic fitness should be a priority for all people, not just aerobic/endurance athletes.

By establishing a solid aerobic base of fitness, we help our bodies to be physiologically equipped to operate with greater efficiency for longer periods of time.   When work or athletic participation places a high demand on our bodies and we become taxed to the limits of our physical abilities, we want to be sure that those limits do not fall short of the challenge at hand.  As the research has established, when demand exceeds ability we are at a higher risk for injury.  Maintaining better aerobic fitness through regular, low-moderate intensity activity that aligns with your sport or job will help reduce your injury risk.

For more information on decreasing injury risk in sports or in the workplace, contact Omaha Physical Therapy Institute today!

Matthew Vetter, PT, DPT, CSCS

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The Association of Aerobic Fitness With Injuries in the Fire Service.  American Journal of Epidemiology.
Gerald S. Poplin, Denise J. Roe, Wayne Peate, Robin B. Harris, and Jefferey L. Burgess.

High-speed running and sprinting as an injury risk factor in soccer: Can well-developed physical qualities reduce the risk?  Journal of Science and Medicine In Sport.  Shane Malone, Adam Owen, Bruno Mendes, Brian Hughes, Kieran Collins, Tim J. Gabbett.

Impact of physical fitness and body composition on injury risk among active young adults: A study of Army trainees.  Journal of Science and Medicine In Sport.  Bruce H. Jones, Keith G. Hauret, Shamola K. Dye, Veronique D. Hauschild, Stephen P. Rossi, Melissa D. Richardson, Karl E. Friedl.