Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Accidents, Occupational; Exercise; Recreation


Background/Purpose: The cost of health care is on the rise for both employers and employees. Research has shown that exercise in any capacity will improve overall health and fitness levels. Limited research has shown that proper exercise can lead to a decrease in musculoskeletal injuries. With the number of musculoskeletal injuries occurring in the workplace at high levels, establishing a connection between injury reduction and exercise is imperative. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between participation in exercise and recreational activities and injury in the workplace.

Methods: A random stratified sample of 396 persons was provided by the University of North Dakota payroll department, representing 20% of the university population. Surveys were sent out and 177 surveys were returned, which represented a 45% return rate. The survey included demographic data, work injury information, and exercise history information. Information of the 177 surveys was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 11.0 program.

Results: No significant difference was found between work injury and exercise {)(-1{1, n = 177) = .135, p> .05). A significant relationship was found when comparing injury to cardiovascular RPE {)(-1{8, n = 137) = 16.188, P = .04).

Discussion/Conclusion: Given the documented benefits of exercise and its relation to overall wellness, the assumption could be made that exercise and recreational activities would reduce the incidence of work injury. However, the results of this study did not meet that assumption. Future research needs to be done to expand on this area. The information collected from this research may be beneficial to the UNO Well ness Center, UNO Department of Physical Therapy, and the UNO Safety and Environmental Health Office.