The acute:chronic workload ratio in relation to injury risk in professional soccer

Malone, Shane and Owen, Adam and Newton, Matt and Mendes, Bruno and Collins, Kieran D. and Gabbett, Tim J. (2017) The acute:chronic workload ratio in relation to injury risk in professional soccer. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20 (6). pp. 561-565. ISSN 1440-2440


To examine the association between combined sRPE measures and injury risk in elite professional soccer. Design Observational cohort study. Methods Forty-eight professional soccer players (mean ± SD age of 25.3 ± 3.1 yr) from two elite European teams were involved within a one season study. Players completed a test of intermittent-aerobic capacity (Yo-YoIR1) to assess player's injury risk in relation to intermittent aerobic capacity. Weekly workload measures and time loss injuries were recorded during the entire period. Rolling weekly sums and week-to-week changes in workload were measured, allowing for the calculation of the acute:chronic workload ratio, which was calculated by dividing the acute (1-weekly) and chronic (4-weekly) workloads. All derived workload measures were modelled against injury data using logistic regression. Odds ratios (OR) were reported against a reference group. Results Players who exerted pre-season 1-weekly loads of ≥1500 to ≤2120 AU were at significantly higher risk of injury compared to the reference group of ≤1500 AU (OR = 1.95, p = 0.006). Players with increased intermittent-aerobic capacity were better able to tolerate increased 1-weekly absolute changes in training load than players with lower fitness levels (OR = 4.52, p = 0.011). Players who exerted in-season acute:chronic workload ratios of >1.00 to <1.25 (OR = 0.68, p = 0.006) were at significantly lower risk of injury compared to the reference group (≤0.85). Conclusions These findings demonstrate that an acute:chronic workload of between 1.00 and 1.25 is protective for professional soccer players. A higher intermittent-aerobic capacity appears to offer greater injury protection when players are exposed to rapid changes in workload in elite soccer players. Moderate workloads, coupled with moderate-low to moderate-high acute:chronic workload ratios, appear to be protective for professional soccer players.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 03:32
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2019 05:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: injury prevention; intermittent team sports; odds risk; training load; Yo-YoIR1
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320225 Sports medicine
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
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