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Physical Activity Guidelines

Appendix 2. Selected Examples of Injury Prevention Strategies for Common Physical Activities and Sports

This chart provides examples of various evidence-based injury prevention strategies compiled by one group of safety and injury prevention experts (Gilchrist et al., 2007). It is provided as a resource for readers and is not a product of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Activity/Sport

Proven*

Promising/Potential*

Baseball/softball

  • Breakaway bases
  • Reduced impact balls
  • Faceguards/protective eyewear
  • Batting helmets
  • Pitch count

Basketball

  • Mouth guards
  • Ankle disc (balance) training
  • Semi-rigid ankle stabilizers/braces**
  • Protective eyewear

Bicycling

  • Helmet use
  • Bike paths/lanes
  • Retractable handle bars

Football

  • Helmets and other personal protective equipment
  • Ankle stabilizers/braces**
  • Minimizing cleat length
  • Rule changes (no spearing, clipping, etc.)
  • Playing field maintenance
  • Preseason conditioning
  • Cross-training (reduce overuse injuries)
  • Coach training and experience
  • Limiting contact during practice

Ice hockey

  • Helmets with full face shield
  • Rule changes (fair play, no checking from behind, no high sticking, etc.)
  • Increased rink size
  • Enforcement of rules
  • Discouraging fighting

In-line skating/
skateboarding

  • Wrist guards
  • Knee/elbow pads
  • Helmets

Playgrounds

  • Shock-absorbing surfacing
  • Height standards
  • Maintenance standards
 

Running/
jogging

  • Altered training regimen
  • Shock-absorbing insoles

Skiing/
Snowboarding

  • Training to avoid risk situations
  • Adjustable bindings
  • Wrist guards in snowboarding
  • Helmets

Soccer

  • Anchored, padded goal posts
  • Shin guards
  • Neuromuscular training programs
  • Strength training
 

*Proven interventions have strong evidence of effectiveness in preventing injuries. Promising/potential interventions have moderately strong evidence of effectiveness from small studies or have been tested only under laboratory conditions.

**Semi-rigid ankle stabilizers and braces have been shown to be most effective for persons with a previous history of ankle sprain. Stabilizers and braces are recommended for persons who have a previous ankle injury and are participating in all activities with a risk of ankle injury (jumping, running, twisting, etc.).

†Helmets worn while bicycling reduce the risk of death and injury. Educational campaigns, laws/legislation, and financial subsidy programs all increase use of helmets.

‡Neuromuscular training programs consist of 4 elements: (1) muscle strengthening, (2) balance training, (3) jump training, and (4) learning proper mechanics (pivoting, landing, etc.).

Source: Adapted from Gilchrist, J., Saluja, G., & Marshall, S. W. (2007). Interventions to prevent sports and recreation-related injuries. In L. S. Doll, S. E. Bonzo, J. Mercy, & D. A. Sleet (Eds), Handbook of injury and violence prevention (pp. 117–136). New York: Springer.

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