Injury facts

All of us will at some time get injured. We might suffer cuts, bruises, burns, sprains, dislocations, broken bones, bites or stings…

Here are some (rather mind-blowing) facts and figures:

  • Each year worldwide almost six million people die every year from injuries (most commonly caused by violence or road traffic crashes). In addition, tens of millions of people suffer injuries that lead to hospitalisation, emergency department or general practitioner treatment, or treatment that does not involve formal medical care.
  • Worldwide each year over 37 million falls are severe enough to require medical attention.
  • In Canada, an estimated 4.27 million people aged 12 or older suffered an injury severe enough to limit their usual activities (2009–2010). This represents 15% of the population.
  • In the USA, in one year alone, an estimated 4.3 million non-fatal sports- and recreation-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments (2000-2001).

In Australia:

  • Over 450,000 people were admitted to Australian hospitals after injuring themselves (2011–12).
  • Roughly 18% of the Australia population (3.6 million people) suffered an injury in the last four weeks.
  • Among those reporting an injury, the most common events were cuts (31% of males, 25% of females); low falls of less than 1 metre (19% of males, 24% of females); hitting or being hit by something (16% of males, 13% of females); and bites/stings requiring some treatment (7% of males, 12% of females).
  • Men account for almost 60 per cent of hospital admissions due to injury.
  • Fractured bones are the common injuries for those hospitalised after *enjoying* sports or recreation activities.
  • The legs and feet are the most commonly injured body parts (accounting for one-third of all injuries). Hands and fingers account for almost another one-third. The arms, wrists and the head account for one-quarter of injuries.
  • The annual cost of sports injuries in Australia was estimated at AUD$1.65 billion (Finch & Owen).
  • Football results in the largest number of sporting injuries. When the levels of participation are considered wheeled motor sports cause the highest rate of hospitalisation followed by roller sports, Australian football, equestrian then rugby league.
  • Work related injuries and illnesses cost the economy approximately AUD$60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of Gross Domestic Product.
  • Many people are injured in the bathroom! In Queensland alone, at least 3,700 injuries occur per year.
  • Those most likely to suffer dislocations, sprains or torn muscles/ligaments are aged 25–34 years old. Twenty per cent of recently injured persons received these forms of injury.
  • Overall people most commonly hurt themselves undertaking leisure activities but getting hurt around the house is really common too!


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