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Sports injuries in the European Union member states: a “team sport” project

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Exercise should be an integral part of every day activities if we are to promote a healthy lifestyle and successfully combat the contemporary nosological spectrum. Participation in sports activities has always been thought of as enhancing physical and mental health; and as such, it should be strongly encouraged for both youth and adults. Sports injuries, on the other hand, constitute an unwanted side effect of practising not only strenuous but also regular physical exercise. There has been no systematic effort in the European Union (EU) countries, however, to comprehensively ascertain the burden of this type of injury despite the fact that this information is a prerequisite for the development of EU policies and for designing injury prevention programs. CEREPRI has conducted a project entitled “Sports injuries in the view of the 2004 Olympics: harvesting information from existing databases” supported by the Division General for Public Health aiming to address the magnitude and the dimensions of the sports injuries problem in the EU member states.

The specific aims of this project were to:

  1. Explore the ability of the former EHLASS database to capture sports injuries, analyse currently available information that is isolated or under-utilised at the national level, and identify deficiencies, inadequacies, or limitations.

  2. Ascertain the burden of sports injuries in EU member states by type of injury, using complementary sources of information and ad hoc approaches,

  3. Develop a set a public health indicators for sports injuries.

  4. Promote the exchange of information about the use of sports injuries data.

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