Occupational, physical fitness, and behavioral risk factors for injury among US army soldiers
In the U.S., injury risks vary by occupation, such as transportation, maintenance, or construction trades. Few studies of injury risk among military occupations can be found. Purpose: To investigate the association of occupation and occupational physical demand levels with injury risks among U.S. Army Soldiers. Methods: Military occupational specialty (MOS), physical demand level, physical training, physical fitness, and injury data were obtained by survey from enlisted male Soldiers in a U.S. Army light infantry brigade (n= 2,101). Physical demands for each MOS were categorized as very heavy, heavy, moderately heavy, medium, and light. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) from a multivariable analysis assessing injury risk were calculated. Results: Overall self-reported injury incidence for the prior 12 months was 43%. Controlling for age, physical demand level, APFT push-up and sit-up, higher risk of injury was associated with several MOSs (OR (Chemical, explosives & ammunition/Infantry) = 3.53; OR (Armor/Infantry) = 1.53; OR (Military intelligence/Infantry) = 1.84), BMI >29.9 (obese) (OR (Obese/Normal) = 1.63), cigarette smoking (OR (Smoker/Nonsmoker) = 1.36), and low aerobic endurance (OR (Slowest 2 mile run time quartile/Fastest 2 mile run time quartile) = 1.65). A marginal association was found for Medical MOS (OR (Medical /Infantry) = 1.59). Conclusion: Results suggest Soldiers in certain Army occupations may be at higher risk of injury. Further investigation into reasons for their higher risk is warranted. Improvements in aerobic endurance, healthy weight maintenance, and reduction in smoking may reduce injuries in this population and similarly healthy active working populations.
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research
Evaluate injury rates in U.S. Army Soldiers MOS groups. Identify potential modifible injury risk factors in U.S. Army Soldiers MOS groups.
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