American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: On-Line Weight Training/Lifting Survey Indicates Gender Differences in Injury Prevention Behaviors

ROSEMONT, Ill., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In July and August 2002, an on-
line survey was conducted by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
among weight training and weightlifting men and women to gather information on
knowledge about weightlifting/training techniques, instruction and safety
issues. The survey also asked participants the types of injuries that were
sustained, the severity of the injury and how the injury was treated. A total
of 410 self-selected respondents participated in the 7-week online survey
containing 11 questions.
General questions about their participation in weight lifting/training
indicate respondents have weight trained/lifted a mean average of 11 years
with 79% of respondents still active. The majority (44%) of respondents
report participation of 3 days per week. Most indicate that their workouts
last one-half hour or one hour, with men more likely to work out for one hour,
and women more likely to work out for one-half hour. Men respondents
typically began weight training/lifting at an earlier age (mean average of age
29/men, age 35/women) and have been engaged in weight training/lifting twice
as long (mean average of 14 years for men and 7 years for women).
The most common injuries identified were inflammation (79%), muscle
strain/sprain (58%) and tendonitis (24%). The most severe injury identified
by a majority of respondents was muscle sprain/strain (33%) and the shoulder
was identified most often as the site of most severe injury (32%), followed by
lower back (16%). Women were more than twice as likely to report severe
injury to the knee (13%) or leg (10%), when compared to men (knee 5% and leg
The number of injuries sustained corresponded with number of years
respondents had participated in weight training/lifting, and increased as
years of participation increased.
Examining injury-prevention behavior responses indicates that men were
almost twice as likely to use a spotter (35% of men vs. 18% of women) or use a
weight belt (24% of men vs. 5% of women). The survey reported that 71% of
women respondents received training for proper use of equipment while weight
training/lifting, compared to only 38% of men respondents. More than twice as
many women respondents (44%) also reported using a professionally designed
weight-training program, compared to 18% of men respondents. More than half
of respondents of both genders identified firm traction shoes (71%), proper
stretching (55%), and warm up (62%) as precautions taken when weight
Interestingly, more women respondents to this survey reported getting
their injury prevention and training information from a personal trainer or
health club employee, where as men respondents indicated that they get their
injury prevention information from friends or books/articles/websites.
In the year 2000, more than 197,000 injuries in the U.S. were treated at
doctor's offices, clinics, and hospital emergency rooms for injuries related
to weight training, according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission. The
costs including medical, work loss, pain and suffering and legal and liability
well exceed over $2.8 billion.
Internet users can find additional information on weight training/lifting,
injury prevention tips and more at the Academy's web site, , or
call the Academy's Public Service line at 800-824-BONES.
An orthopaedic surgeon is a physician with extensive training in the
diagnosis and non-surgical as well as surgical treatment of the
musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles
and nerves.
The 26,047-member American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
( ) or ( ), is a not-for-profit
organization that provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons, allied
health professionals and the public. An advocate for improved patient care,
the Academy is participating in the Bone and Joint Decade
( ), the global initiative in the years 2002-
2011 to raise awareness of musculoskeletal health, stimulate research and
improve people's quality of life. President Bush has declared the years 2002-
2011 National Bone and Joint Decade in support of these objectives.

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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