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Activity title

Reducing Musculo-Skeletal Injuries

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Injuries, musculo, skeletal


Human Performance is impaired by musculoskeletal injuries (MSI). MSI can affect all military personnel but are a particular hazard for new recruits. MSI include muscle pain resulting in days lost training through to stress fractures resulting in medical down-grading or medical discharge. The NATO military community recognizes MSI as a significant problem. Since MSI account for over half of all medical discharges, they reduce both training and operational effectiveness and increase the demands placed on associated medical care provision. Published reports show that 20 – 59% of recruits are affected by MSI with about 8% of recruits being discharged due to MSI. Generic interventions have been found to be ineffective. The frequency and quality of injury reporting varies within and between partner nations.


The objective of this RTG is to focus on primary preventive measures to reduce MSI by: a) promoting the sharing of information among participating nations b) identifying the causes and associated risk factors for MSI c) identifying existing and novel strategies/technologies which may reduce the injury burden d) linking to other on-going STO-activities


a) Prevalence of MSI during military training (‘green training’ & sport) and the impact of readiness for mission b) Literature review (including unpublished defence literature) on risk factors (intrinsic and extrinsic) for MSI including GAP analysis c) Evidence of preventive measures to prevent MSI (including e.g. education, strategies, changing training and equipment) d) With specific view on several training forms (e.g. Basic Training, training on base, during deployment) and service specific (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy) e) Recommendation for common guidance for collection of survey data to capture information to aid identification of the risk factors and incidence of MSI.

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