The acute: Chronic workload ratio predicts injury: High chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players

Hulin, Billy T., Gabbett, Tim J., Lawson, Daniel W., Caputi, Peter and Sampson, John A. (2015) The acute: Chronic workload ratio predicts injury: High chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50 4: 231-236. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094817


Author Hulin, Billy T.
Gabbett, Tim J.
Lawson, Daniel W.
Caputi, Peter
Sampson, John A.
Title The acute: Chronic workload ratio predicts injury: High chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players
Journal name British Journal of Sports Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0306-3674
1473-0480
Publication date 2015-10-28
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094817
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 50
Issue 4
Start page 231
End page 236
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim Investigate whether acute workload (1 week total distance) and chronic workload (4-week average acute workload) predict injury in elite rugby league players.

Methods Data were collected from 53 elite players over two rugby league seasons. The ‘acute:chronic workload ratio’ was calculated by dividing acute workload by chronic workload. A value of greater than 1 represented an acute workload greater than chronic workload. All workload data were classified into discrete ranges by z-scores.

Results Compared with all other ratios, a very-high acute:chronic workload ratio (≥2.11) demonstrated the greatest risk of injury in the current week (16.7% injury risk) and subsequent week (11.8% injury risk). High chronic workload (>16 095 m) combined with a very-high 2-week average acute:chronic workload ratio (≥1.54) was associated with the greatest risk of injury (28.6% injury risk). High chronic workload combined with a moderate workload ratio (1.02–1.18) had a smaller risk of injury than low chronic workload combined with several workload ratios (relative risk range from 0.3 to 0.7×/÷1.4 to 4.4; likelihood range=88–94%, likely). Considering acute and chronic workloads in isolation (ie, not as ratios) did not consistently predict injury risk.

Conclusions Higher workloads can have either positive or negative influences on injury risk in elite rugby league players. Specifically, compared with players who have a low chronic workload, players with a high chronic workload are more resistant to injury with moderate-low through moderate-high (0.85–1.35) acute:chronic workload ratios and less resistant to injury when subjected to ‘spikes’ in acute workload, that is, very-high acute:chronic workload ratios ∼1.5.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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