Relieve Health Group

Relieve Health Group

Musculoskeletal injuries, which affect the body’s muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves, are a significant concern for military personnel. These injuries can occur during routine activities, training exercises, or even during the annual physical fitness evaluation. A recent study by Edwards et al. (2024) delved into this issue, focusing on the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the factors that may influence the likelihood of sustaining such injuries during the annual fitness test.

The study involved a total of 1,796 actively serving CAF members, categorized by sex, rank, and parity (the number of times a woman has given birth). The researchers aimed to identify the body regions most likely to be reported as injured during the fitness evaluation and explore whether sex, rank, and parity status could be associated with these injuries.

The results of the study were illuminating. Firstly, it was found that sex played a significant role in the likelihood and location of injuries. Female participants were more likely to be injured than their male counterparts, with a particular susceptibility to injuries of the wrist, hip, or lower back. This finding suggests that female military personnel may face unique physical challenges during fitness evaluations, which could be due to differences in body structure, muscle mass, or even the type of physical activities included in the test.

The study also found that rank was associated with injury likelihood and location. Non-Commissioned Members (NCM) were more likely to injure the neck or shoulder compared to Officers. This could be due to differences in the physical demands of their roles, or perhaps differences in training and preparation for the fitness test.

Parity, or the number of times a woman has given birth, was another factor examined in the study. Parous female participants, or those who had given birth, reported pelvis/abdomen injuries at a higher rate than the nulliparous group, or those who had not given birth. This finding suggests that childbirth may have long-term effects on a woman’s body that could increase the risk of certain types of injuries.

The study’s findings are significant as they highlight the need for specific physical fitness support for different groups within the military. For instance, female military personnel, particularly those who have given birth, may benefit from tailored fitness programs that take into account their unique physical needs and challenges. Similarly, Non-Commissioned Members may require specific training or preparation to reduce the risk of neck and shoulder injuries.

In conclusion, the study by Edwards et al. (2024) provides valuable insights into the factors that may influence the likelihood and location of musculoskeletal injuries sustained during the annual military physical fitness test. These findings could inform the development of targeted fitness programs and injury prevention strategies, ultimately enhancing the well-being and readiness of military personnel. However, it’s important to remember that each individual is unique, and these findings should be considered alongside other personal and health factors when planning and preparing for physical fitness evaluations.

To read the full journal article, head to,_sex,_and_parity_with.20.aspx

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