Open Access Research article

Injury rates and injury risk factors among federal bureau of investigation new agent trainees

Joseph J Knapik1*, Tyson Grier1, Anita Spiess1, David I Swedler2, Keith G Hauret1, Bria Graham1, James Yoder3 and Bruce H Jones1

Author Affiliations

1 U.S. Army Institute of Public Health, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, USA

2 Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

3 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Human Resources Division Office of Medical Services, Health Care Programs Unit, Washington, DC, USA

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:920  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-920

Published: 13 December 2011



A one-year prospective examination of injury rates and injury risk factors was conducted in Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) new agent training.


Injury incidents were obtained from medical records and injury compensation forms. Potential injury risk factors were acquired from a lifestyle questionnaire and existing data at the FBI Academy.


A total of 426 men and 105 women participated in the project. Thirty-five percent of men and 42% of women experienced one or more injuries during training. The injury incidence rate was 2.5 and 3.2 injuries/1,000 person-days for men and women, respectively (risk ratio (women/men) = 1.3, 95% confidence interval = 0.9-1.7). The activities most commonly associated with injuries (% of total) were defensive tactics training (58%), physical fitness training (20%), physical fitness testing (5%), and firearms training (3%). Among the men, higher injury risk was associated with older age, slower 300-meter sprint time, slower 1.5-mile run time, lower total points on the physical fitness test (PFT), lower self-rated physical activity, lower frequency of aerobic exercise, a prior upper or lower limb injury, and prior foot or knee pain that limited activity. Among the women higher injury risk was associated with slower 300-meter sprint time, slower 1.5-mile run time, lower total points on the PFT, and prior back pain that limited activity.


The results of this investigation supported those of a previous retrospective investigation emphasizing that lower fitness and self-reported pain limiting activity were associated with higher injury risk among FBI new agents.

Physical training; Age; Body mass index; Physical activity; Physical fitness