Injury occurrence and mood states during a desert ultramarathon

Scott M Graham, Mairi McKinley, Connaboy C Chris, Tony Westbury, Julien S Baker, Lon Kilgore, Geraint Florida-James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe injuries and illnesses presented and profile mood states and sleep patterns during a desert environment ultramarathon.

DESIGN: Prospective study gathering data on mood states and injury patterns.

SETTING: : Gobi Desert, Mongolia.

PARTICIPANTS: Eleven male competitors (mean mass, 83.7 ± 7.1 kg; body mass index, 24 ± 1.79 kg/m; age, 33 ± 11 years).

INTERVENTIONS: Injuries were clinically assessed and recorded each day.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mood state was assessed using the Brunel Mood Scale.

RESULTS: All subjects presented with abrasion injuries, dehydration, and heat stress. Vigor decreased over the first 6 days while fatigue increased (P < 0.05). Fatigue and vigor recovered on the final morning. The observed recovery was set against increasing levels of depression, tension, and confusion, which peaked at days 5/6 but returned to day 1 levels on the 7th day morning (P < 0.05). Mean sleep duration (6:17 ± 00:48 hours:minutes; lowest on day 6, 4:43 ± 01:54 hours:minutes) did not vary significantly across the 7 days but did correlate with mood alterations (P < 0.05). Increased anger and fatigue correlated strongly with sleep disruption (r = 0.736 and 0.768, respectively). Vigor and depression displayed a moderately strong correlation to sleep (r = 0.564 and -0.530).

CONCLUSIONS: Injury patterns were similar to those reported in other adventure/ultradistance events. Consistent with previous work, data show increased fatigue and reduced vigor in response to an arduous physical challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-6
Number of pages5
JournalClinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Adult
  • Affect/physiology
  • Anger/physiology
  • Confusion/physiopathology
  • Depression/physiopathology
  • Desert Climate/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mongolia
  • Muscle Fatigue/physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Running/injuries
  • Sleep/physiology
  • Stress, Physiological/physiology
  • Stress, Psychological/physiopathology
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Injury occurrence and mood states during a desert ultramarathon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this