Injuries suffered by Australian Army recruits completing basic training

Ben Schram, Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review


Musculoskeletal injuries are a major problem in military personnel as they detract from force readiness, are of high financial burden and may lead to an inability to deploy. Injuries during basic training have been shown to occur at three times the rate of any other time, thought to be due to low initial levels of fitness, prior injury history and a sudden increase in physical activity. In addition, injury rates and types between part time and full time personnel is currently unknown.
A database of injuries which occurred during the period July 2012 to June 2014 was obtained from the Department of Defence Workplace Health, Safety, Compensation and Reporting database. Outcomes of interest included natures of injuries, injury mechanisms, activities being performed at the time of injury and bodily location of injury.
There were 1479 incidents reported during the period of interest during basic training with 89.5% occurring in full time and 10.5% in part time personnel. Of the full time incidents, 1192 (90%) were Minor Personal Injuries and 43 (3.2%) were Serious Personal Injuries. In the part time personnel 147 Minor Personal Injuries were reported (94.8%) and 3 Serious Personal Injuries were reported (1.9%). In both full time and part time personnel the most common activity in which injury occurred was Physical Training accounting for 41.5% of all injuries in full time and 32% of all part time injuries. The knee was the most commonly injuries site with 13.4% and 14.6% of injuries in full time and part time personnel respectively. These injuries were predominately soft tissue injuries (60.9% full time and 69.3% in part time) due to muscular stress with no objects being handled (41.7% of full time and 36% of part time injuries).
These results are in agreement with other published studies which have found injuries during military training are most commonly at or below the knee, that physical training is the highest activity in which injury occurs and are most commonly overuse injuries.
It would appear that the activities in which injuries occur, the anatomical location in which injuries occur, the type and nature of injuries in basic training are similar amongst both full time and part time army personnel.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017
EventAustralasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA) Conference 2017 - Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 6 Oct 20178 Oct 2017


ConferenceAustralasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA) Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleAMMA
OtherResponding to the unpredictable: Disasters and conflict
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Injuries suffered by Australian Army recruits completing basic training'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this