The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Study confirms the benefits of physical activity outweigh risk of musculoskeletal injury

Physicians should continue to recommend a combination of aerobic activity and resistance exercise to achieve health benefits.
DALLAS (December 11, 2012) — The Women’s Injury Study (WIN) from The Cooper Institute, in collaboration with The University of North Texas, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Texas Woman’s University, reveals that the health benefits of regular physical activity outweigh the modest risk of injury.
James R. Morrow Jr. of the University of North Texas and The Cooper Institute was the first author on the study, which also included authors Laura F. DeFina and Michelle A. Custodio of The Cooper Institute, David Leonard of UT Southwestern, and Elaine Trudelle-Jackson of Texas Woman’s University.
The study was conducted over a three-year period among 908 women of mixed ethnicities in the Dallas area, all over the age of 20. The women underwent an initial eligibility screening to confirm good health and no major disease or previous injury.  
Over the course of the study, the women logged their physical activity and resistance exercise online, noting any musculoskeletal injuries. Self-reported injuries were typically related to walking, jogging, running, or weight lifting and were more common in the lower body and lower extremities.
“During the study we found that a modest risk of injury can result because of increasing physical activity,” says Morrow. “It’s clear though that the risk should not hinder physicians from encouraging patients to be active. Improved fitness and weight management should continue to be emphasized to reduce the rates of obesity in the United States. The health benefits of regular physical activity outweigh the musculoskeletal injury risk associated with increased physical activity behaviors.”
About The Cooper Institute
Established in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, The Cooper Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated worldwide to preventive medicine research and education, housing one of the world’s largest databases on exercise and health. Each year The Cooper Institute develops engaged learners in fitness and health with its courses and nationally
accredited Personal Trainer Certification exam. The Cooper Institute offers web-based tools for schools to track and report on youth fitness and nutrition: FitnessGram® and NutriGram®. For more information, visit
About UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the premier medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,600, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients and oversee nearly two million outpatient visits a year. For more information, visit
About The University of  North Texas
The University of  North Texas (UNT) is a public research university deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world. This is accomplished through a broad and balanced array of programs where well-prepared students and dedicated scholars and artists collaborate with local and global communities in the creation, integration, application and dissemination of knowledge. In this way, UNT creates an enriched and sustainable future for our students, state, nation and world. For more information, visit
About Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University is a public university that occupies a notable position in higher education as the nation’s largest university primarily for women. Campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston are joined by an e-learning campus offering innovative online degree programs in business, education, and general studies. Eleven consecutive years of growth have produced a record enrollment of 15,135 students. For more information, visit