Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Couch Potatoes Run Greater Risk of Injury


Women who begin an exercise program should use their ability to run or move fast to gauge their general level of fitness, says Bell, who is vice president of a private research company in Natick, Mass.

"This will help you assess your risk of injury," says Smith. Women should measure their waist and abdomen regularly, since "changes in abdominal size are more important than weight from a health standpoint." She says when you start an exercise program, "pay attention to how fast you're walking or running. See how long it takes you to do a mile, and check yourself periodically every few months. That could be a tremendous motivating factor. Sometimes you don't realize how much progress you're making."

Vital Information:

  • A new study shows that women are at higher risk of sports-related injuries than men because they are less fit, not because they are female.
  • In a study of military recruits going through basic training, women were twice as likely as men to suffer injuries.
  • When researchers adjusted for fitness level, they found that the most fit men and the most fit women had similar rates of injury, and with descending levels of fitness, the injury rate increased similarly in both groups.


Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Flat Abs
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
woman using ice pack

man exercising
7 most effective exercises
Man looking at watch before workout
Overweight man sitting on park bench
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
jogger running among flowering plants
woman walking
Taylor Lautner