Injury Prevention and Active Living

Injury Prevention and Active Living

Monahan / HPAA / CFB North Bay / 2017

Injury Prevention and Active Living?

What is Injury Prevention and Active Living?

Injury Prevention and Active Living is one of the main specialty areas of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Strengthening the Forces health promotion program. As part of the Directorate of Force Health Protection (DFHP), this specialty area is responsible for developing injury prevention materials for the CAF while base and wing health promotion delivery personnel assist in the dissemination of this material. DFHP specialists also provide consultation services to CAF leadership and national DND partners. Military training and missions occur in many unique environments and the knowledge acquired by CAF members who have these experiences is incorporated in the development of practical injury prevention strategies.

CAF leaders recognize that injury prevention is an important consideration in everyday life and seek to find every opportunity to operationalize injury prevention strategies in the working or physical training environment of their personnel. Injuries have a significant negative impact on operational readiness in terms of reducing the number of “good to go” personnel, increasing the stress on limited military personnel, creating long term disability and consuming limited health care resources. Considering that “injuries are often the result of inaction”, it is important that everyone in the CAF realizes that we all share an injury prevention responsibility and can make a significant difference.

Surveys consistently show that approximately 50% of all CAF injuries occur during sports and physical activity – two activities that the CAF has historically depended heavily on to help develop and maintain the health and physical fitness of its military personnel. Running causes the greatest number of physical injuries in the CAF. While legs injuries are the most frequently reported injuries, a significant number of active Regular Forces members report they experience chronic low back pain. Research indicates that 80 to 95% of all injuries are preventable and this reinforces the value of initiating preventative strategies.

Injury Prevention and Active Living focuses on reducing the incidence of sports and physical training related injuries. The new CAF common tasks and the implementation of the new functional fitness test – Force Evaluation – reflect the significant physical demands that military service places on CAF personnel. In support of Force Evaluation, there will be a greater focus on the collaborative development of back care strategies.

CAF leadership and personnel can already benefit from the scientifically based messages in the Injury Reduction Strategies for Sports and Physical Activity material which was launched in October 2010. This initiative provides key injury prevention principles that can be adapted to the unique operational needs of a wide variety of CAF military units. Base/Wing health promotion offices can be contacted if you would like to have an Injury Reduction Strategies presentation offered in your unit.