Sports Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 955–963 | Cite as

Physical Activity-Related Injuries in Older Adults: A Scoping Review

  • Liza Stathokostas
  • Olga Theou
  • Robert M. D. Little
  • A. A. Vandervoort
  • Parminder Raina
Review Article


The purpose of this project is to conduct a comprehensive and systematic scoping review to identify and document the breadth of literature related to physical activity-related injuries in older adults. The population of interest was adults (both males and females) over the age of 65 years, participating in exercise, leisure-time, or sport-type physical activities. The initial search yielded 16,828 articles, with 43 articles ultimately included. The final 43 articles utilized the following study designs: three experimental (two randomized control and one non-randomized control), 14 prospective studies, and 26 retrospective. The results of this scoping review would suggest that it may be premature to provide definitive incidence rates, causes, and correlates of physical activity-related injuries in older adults. However, the current literature does not suggest that older adults are at an increased risk of injury from participation in physical activities. Future research should utilize a consistent definition of ‘injury’ and consistent and comprehensive descriptors of injuries—including intensity level of engagement of activity and burden/severity of injury. In addition, injury rates in specific populations are needed, particularly for the oldest-old, for those in assisted-living situations, and for subgroups with clinical conditions. Finally, greater surveillance and documentation of older adult initiatives and interventions are needed in order to identify programs successful in reducing the injury rates of their target populations.


Physical Activity Strength Training Injury Severity Score Injury Rate Injury Incidence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this study was provided by a Canadian Institute of Health Research ICE Team grant. All authors declare no conflict of interests. We would like to thank the staff of the McMaster Evidence-Based Practice Centre, in particular, Ms. Mary Gauld and Ms. Maureen Rice.

Supplementary material

40279_2013_76_MOESM1_ESM.doc (39 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 39 kb)
40279_2013_76_MOESM2_ESM.doc (73 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 73 kb)
40279_2013_76_MOESM3_ESM.docx (43 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 42 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liza Stathokostas
    • 1
  • Olga Theou
    • 2
  • Robert M. D. Little
    • 1
  • A. A. Vandervoort
    • 3
  • Parminder Raina
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology, Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging 3M Centre, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Division of Geriatric MedicineDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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