Little epidemiological data exist to describe the incidence of injury among individuals engaged in CrossFit training.
PURPOSE: To examine the prevalence and incidence of injury among individuals engaged in CrossFit training over a four-year period.
METHODS: Between 2013-2017, individuals (Females = F; Males = M) engaged in CrossFit training were asked to complete a survey designed to examine variables related to their participation in CrossFit training and their injury history over the previous 12 months (survey was distributed at the end of each year).
RESULTS: A total of 3,079 individuals responded to the online survey. Data was only analyzed for the cases that had complete data (N = 3,049; F = 48.6%, M = 51.4%). Overall, 30.5% (n = 931) of individuals reported experiencing an injury, with no difference between F and M [14% (n = 436); 16.2% (n = 495), respectively; χ2= 1.65, p = 0.1989]. Of those who experienced an injury, 62.4% (n = 581) reported an injury to a single body part, while 37.6% (n = 350) reported injuries to multiple body parts; in addition, there were significant differences between males and females (χ2=8.43, p=0.0037) in the number of body parts injured. The shoulders (39%), back (36%), knees (15%), elbows (12%), and wrists (11%) recorded the highest prevalence of injury. Based on the assumed maximum number of workout hours per week, the injury rate was 0.27 per 1,000 hours (F = 0.28, M = 0.26); whereas, the assumed minimum number of workout hours per week resulted in an injury rate of 0.74 per 1,000 hours (F = 0.78, M = 0.70).
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the prevalence and incidence of injury in a multi-year large sample of individuals participating in CrossFit training. Our findings support the notion that CrossFit training has similar rates of injury than other forms of exercise training.