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Title: Associations between sport participation and knee symptoms : a cross-sectional study involving 3053 undergraduate students
Authors: Chan, LLY
Wong, AYL 
Wang, MGH
Issue Date: 2020
Source: BMC sports science medicine and rehabilitation, 23 Mar. 2020, v. 12, 20, p. 1-11
Abstract: Background: While a number of studies have investigated knee symptoms among elite athletes, few have directly compared the association between engagement in different sports and knee symptoms among young adults in the general population. The current study aimed to investigate the relation between sports participation hours, type/ number of sports engaged, self-rated competitiveness and knee symptoms among undergraduates.
Methods: Undergraduates were invited to participate in a self-administered online survey through invitation emails. Respondents were instructed to provide demographic information (e.g., age, gender, sports participation hours, types of engaged sports, self-rated competitiveness in sports and anxiety level etc.) and to report knee symptoms (current, the last 7 days, the last 12 months, and lifetime). Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to investigate the association between sports participation and current knee symptoms.
Results: Of 17,552 invitees, 3744 responded to the survey. Valid data from 3053 respondents was used for analysis. Forty-four percent of the respondents engaged in sports regularly (>= once per week). Running, cross-training and swimming were the most frequently participated sports among the respondents. The current prevalence rate of knee symptoms was 6.4%. Hours spent participating in combat sports, soccer, yoga, and basketball participation hours were significantly associated with current knee symptoms. Respondents who rated themselves as "competitive" demonstrated a higher risk of having current knee symptoms than "recreational" players. Number of engaged sports was not associated with current knee symptoms among undergraduates.
Conclusions: Certain sports types were associated with current knee symptoms. Compared to self-rated "recreational" players, self-rated "competitive" players were more likely to have current knee symptoms. Students should take preventive measures to minimize their risk of developing knee symptoms, especially when participating in combat sports, soccer, yoga, and basketball, or engaging in sports at a highly competitive level.
Keywords: Knee pain
Youth sports injuries
Athletic injuries
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal: BMC sports science medicine and rehabilitation 
DOI: 10.1186/s13102-020-00169-w
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
The following publication Chan, L.L.Y., Wong, A.Y.L. & Wang, M.H. Associations between sport participation and knee symptoms: a cross-sectional study involving 3053 undergraduate students. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 12, 20 (2020) is available at
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