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Activities and risk factors associated with fall-related injuries among US Army soldiers
  1. Raina D Brooks1,
  2. T Grier2,
  3. B H Jones2 and
  4. M C Chervak2
  1. 1Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2Injury Prevention Division, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, US Army Public Health Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Raina D Brooks, U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, 8977 Sibert Road, Aberdeen Proving Ground MD 21010, USA; usarmy.apg.medcom-phc.mbx.injuryprevention{at}


Introduction Falls/near falls are the second leading cause of hospitalisation and outpatient visits among US Army soldiers. While numerous studies have evaluated fall-related or near fall-related injuries among elderly adults, few have evaluated this association among young adults. The objective of this study is to describe the characteristics and risk factors associated with fall-related or near fall-related injuries among male US Army soldiers.

Methods This is a cross-sectional study of male US Army Airborne Division soldiers (n=5187). Electronic surveys captured demographic, lifestyle, physical training (PT), fitness and injury data during spring/summer of 2016. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors of fall-related or near fall-related injuries, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results Primary findings indicated that activities and risk factors associated with fall-related or near fall-related injuries among soldiers included younger age (≤35 years), holding a job that required minimal lifting activities, slower 2-mile run times and not running during personal PT.

Conclusions The findings from this study suggest that male US Army soldiers and other physically active men may benefit from (1) obtaining and/or maintaining higher aerobic endurance and muscular strength, and (2) training focused on preventing fall-related injuries during PT, road marching and sports/recreational activities. Moreover, prevention strategies and education should further target younger soldiers (≤35 years old), as younger age is not modifiable.

  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • statistics & research methods

Statistics from


  • Contributors RDB and TG contributed to the design of the study. RDB and TG contributed to statistical analyses. RDB undertook the first draft of the manuscript. TG, MCC and BHJ revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors have contributed to and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This investigation was supported in part by an appointment to the Postgraduate Research Participation Program at the US Army Public Health Center (APHC), administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy and the APHC.

  • Disclaimer Citations of commercial organisations and tradenames in this report do not constitute an official Department of the Army endorsement or approval of the products or services of these organisations. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the US Department of Defense, US Department of the Army, US Army Medical Department, or the US government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study was reviewed and approved as public health practice by the Army Public Health Center public health review board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement The data are not available for public use.

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