Youth sport participation, injury history, and current physical activity among young adults

Noah Gadd, Johanna Hoch, Chloe McKay, Jennifer Tinsley, Deirdre Dlugonski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the interaction between high school (HS) sports participation and injury history with current moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among young adults. Participants: Participants (N = 236) were 18–25 years old, not currently injured, and reported no physical activity limitations. Methods: Participants completed online demographic, injury history, and physical activity surveys. A two-way analysis of covariance was used to test the interaction between HS athlete status and previous injury severity on current self-reported MVPA. Results: Participants were 22.2 ± 2.1 years, primarily White (81.8%) or Asian (6.4%), and female (77.5%). After including body mass index and race as covariates, there was a statistically significant interaction between HS athlete status and previous injury history such that current MVPA was higher among former HS athletes compared to HS recreational/nonathletes when individuals reported no injuries or mild injury severity. MVPA was similar across athlete status groups when participants reported high levels of injury severity. Conclusions: Future studies should examine whether young adults who have experienced multiple and/or severe injuries as competitive HS athletes have unique physical activity barriers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A convenience sample of adults aged 18–25 years old were recruited through ResearchMatch, social media, and university classes at a large academic institution. ResearchMatch is a national health volunteer registry that was created by several academic institutions and supported by the US National Institutes of Health as part of the Clinical Translational Science Award program. ResearchMatch has a large population of volunteers who have consented to be contacted by researchers about health studies for which they may be eligible. Eligible participants were 18–25 years old, not currently injured, and had no physical activity limitations. There were 329 individuals who accessed the survey. Of the 273 participants (83%) who were qualified and consented to begin the survey, 16 participants did not complete the injury survey and 17 participants failed to complete the physical activity survey. An additional four participants were identified as physical activity outliers (visual inspection and z-score >3) and were excluded. The final sample included 236 participants (86.4% of qualified participants; 71.7% of individuals who accessed the survey).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Injury frequency
  • injury severity
  • moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
  • youth athletes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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