Injury Prevention & Active Living

Injury Prevention & Active Living

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 leg 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 Reduction Strategies for Sports and Physical Activity

Research indicates that close to 50% of the injuries that occur in the CAF occur during sports and physical training activities and running accounts for more injuries than any other physical activity. Musculoskeletal injuries are by far the most common reason for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members being unable to deploy. In an effort to address this situation, in 2008, the CAF conducted a literature review focused on injury prevention research. Over 10,000 scientific studies were reviewed and we identified a number of strategies that the CAF could use to reduce the frequency and severity of injuries experienced by CAF personnel during sports and physical training. Most of these strategies are easy to implement and cost little or no money to put into effect. Despite the passage of time, recent research has confirmed that these injury reduction strategies continue to be valid.

The Injury Reduction Strategies in Sports and Physical Activity workshop and presentations offer an overview of strategies that work and don't work to protect hips, knees, ankles, feet, necks, backs, shoulders, arms and heads. This program also offers a local feedback electronic database that can summarize specific information collected at the end of each workshop.  As injury prevention has many dimensions, such a database can greatly assist in supporting local leaders in building their own unique and innovative injury prevention culture in sports and physical activity.

For more information about this program, workshop or presentation, contact your local Health Promotion at 613-687-5511 ext 4685


Booklet: Strategies for Action - Science Working for You

This booklet was developed as a handy reminder for many of the injury reduction strategies that are recommended in the Injury Reduction Strategies for Sport and Physical Activity presentation.

It provides 21 scientifically based strategies organized under three topics:

1. Sports and physical activity - 14 strategies
2. Equipment - 6 strategies
3. Nutrition strategy and advice

This booklet also comes with 35 scientific references that you can use to research the strategies that were recommended. Training regularly is important but training smart is essential!