- Leading to nearly 1.5 million injuries in 2017, working out, playing basketball and riding a bicycle resulted in the most injuries of any sporting activity.
- People under the age of 25 suffer far more injuries related to team sports. While working out is the leading cause of injuries for older people.
- There were nine activities with more than 100,000 injuries for men, which compared to only three for women.
- Trampolines are the sporting activity with the fastest growing injury rate from 2013 to 2017, growing by 74% during that span.
Though it often is regarded as mundane, going to the gym leads to most injuries of the any of the activities we included in our study. Exercise and exercise equipment accounted for more than 500,000 trips to the emergency room in 2017. This is 10 times the number of injuries that resulted from horseback riding.
|Rank||Sporting activity||% of injuries that resulted in hospitalization|
|2||ATV's, Mopeds, Minibikes, etc.||13.3%|
Horseback riding, ATVs and recreational vehicles, and racquet sports most often resulted in severe injury — though they didn't result in a large number of ER visits compared to the activities at the top of our list. These three activities had the highest percentage of injuries that resulted in hospitalization in 2017, with rates 2.3 to 2.8 times higher than the average of 5.2% across the activities included in our study.
Trampolines saw the greatest jump in the number of injuries
Trampolines are the sporting activity with the fastest growing injury rate between 2013 to 2017. It is the only sporting activity to see an increase of more than 50%, as the annual number of injuries went from 83,665 to 145,207 during this span.
For the sporting activities that ranked in the top 10 in 2017, six have seen a decrease in the total number of injuries. Trampolines, swimming, working out and ATV's however, saw an increase in the number of injuries during this time period.
Team sports are the biggest cause of injuries for young people
|Rank||Age 5 - 24||Age 25 - 64||Age 65+|
|1||Basketball||Exercise, Exercise Equipment||Exercise, Exercise Equipment|
|2||Football||Bicycles & Accessories||Bicycles & Accessories|
|3||Bicycles & Accessories||ATV's, Mopeds, Minibikes, etc.||ATV's, Mopeds, Minibikes, etc.|
|4||Soccer||Basketball||Swimming, Pools, Equipment|
|5||Playground Equipment||Swimming, Pools, Equipment||Racquet Sports|
For young people, team sports are responsible for the greatest number of injuries. Among the sporting activities we considered for this study, basketball and football accounted for 32% of the injuries for people between the ages of 5 and 24. For people age 25 and older, exercise represented the biggest portion of the injuries making up 28% and 41% for people age 25 to 64 and 65 and older respectively.
Men are injured by sporting activities at twice the rate of women
For the 23 sporting activities we considered in this study, men accounted for 2.4 million ER visits and women accounted for 1.2 million. Furthermore, there were nine activities with more than 100,000 injuries for men, which compared to only three for women.
Exercise equipment accounts for 20% of all sports-related emergency room visits by women, making up the largest portion of injuries. For men, basketball ranked as the most dangerous activity — in terms of the total number of injuries — leading to 17% of all of the accidents among the injuries we considered for men.
ValuePenguin examined sports-related injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2013-2017 to determine the type of sports that are most likely to result in emergency room visits, and to determine which activities have resulted in more visits over that period.