Other Subject Area

Exercise-related Injury Prevention


International Journal of Exercise Science 15(3): 300-312, 2022. Musculoskeletal injuries, especially resulting from physical training, are a significant threat to military readiness. Due to costs related to treating injuries and the high probability of chronic, recurrent injuries, prevention should be a primary focus to maximize human performance and military success. However, in the US Army, many personnel are uninformed on injury prevention topics, and no research has identified injury prevention knowledge gaps in military leaders. This study examined the current knowledge of US Army ROTC cadets on injury prevention topics. This cross-sectional study was conducted at two university ROTC programs in the US. Cadets completed a questionnaire to identify participants’ knowledge of injury risk factors and effective prevention strategies. Participants’ perceptions of their leadership and their desires for future injury prevention education were also assessed. The survey was completed by 114 cadets. Except for dehydration and prior injury, participants had a greater than 10% incorrect response rate for questions regarding the impact of various factors on injury risk. Overall, participants displayed a positive view of their leadership’s interest in injury prevention. The majority (74%) of participants reported a preference to receive injury prevention educational materials via electronic delivery. To develop implementation strategies and educational materials for injury prevention, identifying current injury prevention knowledge of military personnel should be a priority for researchers and military leaders. The initial military training of future officers is a critical time for further research and education efforts to improve the effectiveness and adoption of injury prevention strategies.