Life After Sport: Prior Injury and Sedentary Behavior as Mechanisms of Later Poor Health

  • End date
    Aug 23, 2027
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Marquette University
Updated on 7 October 2022
chronic pain
Accepts healthy volunteers


Competitive sport increases risk for musculoskeletal injury (e.g., traumatic knee injury) and may position former athletes for early onset of chronic diseases, chronic pain, poor health-related quality of life, and disability. Quantifying function in former athletes with and without a prior injury and non-athlete controls is critical to understanding long-term health trajectories in athletes and informing potential interventional studies. One modifiable factor that may be associated with long-term health in athletes is physical activity patterns. The purpose of this study is to evaluate strength, function, physical activity, dietary patterns, and cardiometabolic health among current and former competitive athletes and in nonathlete controls to evaluate the impact of prior knee injury and sedentary behavior as two potential determinants of later poor health and reduced function.


The overarching hypothesis is that former athletes, especially those with a prior injury, will have poorer function and health in midlife and that current and former athletes will engage in greater overall and longer bouts of sedentary behavior compared to non-athletes.

Aim 1 will compare function, strength, and cardiometabolic indicators among former athletes with and without prior knee injury and non-athlete controls in midlife (age 40-64). Hypothesis 1 is that former athletes with a prior injury will have the poorest function, muscle strength, and cardiometabolic indicators.

Aim 2 will compare sedentary behavior and physical activity patterns in current (age 18-25) and midlife former athletes to non-athlete controls. Hypothesis 2.1 is that current athletes will have greater sedentary behavior, longer sedentary behavior bouts, and higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared to non-athlete controls. Hypothesis 2.2 is that former athletes in midlife will have greater sedentary behavior, longer sedentary behavior bouts, and lower physical activity levels compared to non-athlete controls.

An exploratory aim will evaluate longitudinally the trajectory of physical activity patterns, cardiometabolic indicators, function, and strength annually in each cohort, comparing how these variables change over time in each subgroup.

Condition Aging, Athletic Injuries, Physical Inactivity, Knee Injuries and Disorders
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05344001
SponsorMarquette University
Last Modified on7 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18-25 years OR age 40-64 years
Current or former collegiate varsity athlete OR non-athlete control

Exclusion Criteria

Neurologic (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's) and/or degenerative disease that impairs function
Lower extremity joint replacement (e.g., hip or knee replacement)
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