Injuries Among Recreational Football Players: Results of a Prospective Cohort Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

To establish the incidence and patterns of football injuries and associated consequences in daily life and labor loss, among public employees.

Design:

Prospective cohort study.

Setting:

Football tournament between public employees in Turkey.

Participants:

A total of 1821 recreational players from 78 teams.

Main Outcome Measures:

Injury rates (injuries per 1000 hours of football exposure) during tournament by age group, as well as prevalence, severity, and injury types were recorded. The data regarding the occurrence (eg, location, type, circumstances) and consequences (eg, absenteeism, medical treatment, labor loss) of injuries were collected.

Results:

Of the 1821 football players registered for participation, 57% (n = 1038) were included in the study with the returned questionnaire forms. In total, 257 matches were played with a total exposure time of 5654 hours. A total of 218 injuries were recorded in 192 players (10.5%), resulting in a mean of 0.85 time-loss injuries per match (38.6 per 1000 hours). Severe injuries constituted 42.6% of all injuries, and 28.9% of all injuries caused the participants to be absent at least 1 day for the next working day. The total labor loss was 1196 days for all injuries. The rate of missing subsequent working day was significantly less for muscle injuries (P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

The risk of injury in recreational football players is relatively high causing significant labor loss. The results suggest that prevention programs should consider specific injury characteristics, as there is a greater incidence of muscle and anterior cruciate ligament injuries in this population.

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