Sports Pain and Injury Statistics

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Sports Pain and Injury Statistics

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 8.6 million Americans are hurt annually engaging in physical activity. During the lock-down necessitated by the Coronavirus pandemic, an estimated 7 million exercise-related injuries were reported in Britain. While the number of exercise and sports-related injuries in the US was easy to come by, the research team was unable to find verified sources that gave a worldwide figure. The team opted to include the publicly available number of exercise or sports-related injuries in a few countries, namely the UK, Canada, and Australia.

The United States

  • Injury Facts found that a total of 3.7 million Americans were injured in 2019 from sports and other recreational activities. Of these injuries, approximately 468,000 were directly caused by exercises, another 417,000 from bicycling, 404,000 and 292,000 from basketball and football respectively.
  • The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services also reports that about 8.6 million Americans are hurt annually engaging in physical activity. About 2.9 million of these injuries occurred at sports facilities, athletic fields, or on playgrounds.

Other Countries

  • Bupa, an insurance company in Britain, claims that about 7 million injuries were reported in Britain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Protectivity also report that 2 in 5 Brits have injured themselves during work-outs.
  • The Canadian Institute for Health found that about 26, 937 Canadians were hospitalized due to sports-related injuries between 2018 and 2019.
  • The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that between 2016 and 2017, about 60,000 people were hospitalized for sports injuries.

Research Strategy

To determine how many people have had to stop doing their exercise or sport because of injury each year in the US and worldwide, the research team began by searching for the number of people whose injuries caused them to stop or limit their exercise or sports routines. In the US, we found figures of sports and exercise-related injuries per year, but the findings were not further extrapolated to show how many people were not able to resume their sporting activities due to these injuries. We safely construed that since these figures were garnered from hospital visits, the injuries may have been serious enough to stop or hamper these people from quickly returning to their exercises and sports activities of choice.

The research team encountered a difficult time trying to locate the same number that represented the whole world. We searched for studies, research papers, analyses made by academia, reputable media publications, and sports institutions such as the Olympic Foundation, in an effort to find a cohesive representative number for worldwide sports or exercise-related injuries. When this failed, we tried searching for the same numbers in several countries that represented each region of the world; India and China (Asia), Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana (Africa), Canada (North America), Brazil and Argentina (South America), Australia, the UK, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands (Europe). The only publicly available information was from Canada, the UK, and Australia. The team tried to make the findings from other countries as representative as possible, but our efforts were hampered by the lack of findings relevant to this brief.
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