Low chronic workload and the acute: chronic workload ratio are more predictive of injury than between-match recovery time: a two-season prospective cohort study in elite rugby league players

Hulin, Billy T. and Gabbett, Tim J. and Caputi, Peter and Lawson, Daniel W. and Sampson, John A. (2016) Low chronic workload and the acute: chronic workload ratio are more predictive of injury than between-match recovery time: a two-season prospective cohort study in elite rugby league players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50 (16). pp. 1008-1012. ISSN 0306-3674

Abstract

Background: Between-match recovery time, and acute and chronic workloads likely affect subsequent match-injury risk in elite rugby league players. Methods: Workloads of 28 players throughout two seasons were calculated during short (<7 days), and long (≥7 days) between-match recovery times. 'Acute' workloads (1 week) greater than 'chronic' workloads (4-week rolling average acute workload) resulted in acute:chronic workload ratios above 1. Results: No difference was found between the match-injury risk of short and long between-match recovery periods (7.5±2.5% vs 6.8±2.5%). When players had a short recovery between matches, high chronic workloads (18.9-22.0 km) were associated with a smaller risk of match injury than chronic workloads <18.9 km (relative risk (RR) range 0.27-0.32 (CI 0.08 to 0.92); likelihood range 90-95%, likely). Players who had shorter recovery and acute:chronic workload ratios ≥1.6, were 3.4-5.8 times likely to sustain a match injury than players with lower acute:chronic workload ratios (RR range 3.41-5.80 (CI 1.17 to 19.2); likelihood range 96-99%, very likely). Acute:chronic workload ratios between 1.2 and 1.6 during short between-match recovery times demonstrated a greater risk of match injury than ratios between 1.0 and 1.2 (RR=2.88 (CI 0.97 to 8.55); likelihood=92%, likely). Conclusions: Contrary to the philosophy that high workloads and shorter recovery equate to increased injury risk, our data suggest that high and very-high chronic workloads may protect against match injury following shorter between-match recovery periods. Acute:chronic workload ratios ∼1.5 are associated with a greater risk of match injury than lower acute:chonic workload ratios. Importantly, workloads can be manipulated to decrease the match-injury risk associated with shorter recovery time between matches.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published ArticleFirst version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 01:05
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 01:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: fitness; global positioning system; injury; recovery; training; adult; athletic injuries; athletic performance; Australia; football; humans; male; prospective studies; recovery of function; return to sport; risk factors; time factors; workload; injury prevention
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110604 Sports Medicine
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095364
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32254

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