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Injury Rates of Sports / Activities

let's look at the numbers.

This will be a post I’ll update frequently as I gather and compile new data.

When discussing injuries in any sport or activity, it’s helpful to compare the numbers to other activities.

Getting injured when you are active is simply a reality. Most of the time, injuries are simply accidents.

But journalists often write sensationalist titles for their articles covering new research showing “<some type of activity> causes <some percentage or statistic> of <some injury or negative effect>”. Actually, most journalists don’t even give a number in the title unless it’s scary.

If you want to see if a number is actually high, it’s more helpful to compare it to other numbers. So in this post, I’ll present some numbers for common sports and activities.


Again: this data will be updated frequently.

Sports Injuries (per 100 hours) Reference
Soccer 6.20 1
UK Rugby 1.92 1
UK Basketball 1.03 1
South African Rugby 0.70 1
USA Track-and-Field 0.57 1
B-Boying (Break-dancing) 0.49 2
UK Cross-country 0.37 1
UK Track-and-Field 0.26 1
Physical Education 0.18 1
USA Football 0.10 1
Squash 0.10 1
UK Tennis 0.07 1
Badminton 0.05 1
USA Gymnastics 0.044 1
USA Basketball 0.03 1
Weight Training 0.0012 [1 injury per 85,733 hours] 1
USA Powerlifting 0.0008 [1 injury per 121,208 hours] 1
Weightlifting [=Olympic style] 0.0006 [1 injury per 165,551 hours] 1
USA Volleyball 0.0004 1
USA Tennis 0.0003 1
USA Cross-country 0.00 1

1. Brian P. Hamill, “Relative Safety of Weightlifting and Weight Training,” Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, Vol. 8, No. 1(1994): 53-57

2. Kauther MD, Wedemeyer C, Wegner A, Kauther KM, von Knoch M. Breakdance injuries and overuse syndromes in amateurs and professionals. Am J Sports Med. 2009 Apr;37(4):797-802.

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