The association between obesity related health risk and fitness test results in the British Army personnel
journal contributionposted on 2018-10-17, 10:32 authored by Paul SandersonPaul Sanderson, Stacy ClemesStacy Clemes, Karl E. Friedl, Stuart J.H. Biddle
Objective: In the British Army, fitness is assessed by a load carriage test (Annual Fitness Test, AFT) and by a three event Personal Fitness Assessment (PFA). Body composition based on body mass index (BMI) and abdominal circumference (AC) is also part of a mandatory annual assessment. This study examined the influence of BMI and AC on fitness test results within a comprehensive sample of British Army personnel. Design: Secondary analyse were carried out on data obtained from the 2011 Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) database for 50,635 soldiers (47,173 men and 3,462 women). Methods: Comparisons using loglinear analysis were made between groups of individuals classified by body mass index as obese (≥30 kg/m2) and not obese (<30 kg/m2), and further classified using combined BMI and AC for obesity-related health risks to compare “no risk” with “increased risk.” Results: Not obese or “no risk” soldiers had a significant relationship with success in the AFT (p < 0.01) and PFA (p < 0.01). Of those soldiers who attempted the AFT, 99% of men and 92% of women passed; for the PFA, 92% of men and 91% of women passed. Obese or “at risk” soldiers were more likely to fail and far less likely to take both tests (p < 0.05). Compared to older obese soldiers, young obese soldiers were more likely to attempt the tests. Conclusions: We conclude that BMI and AC are useful indicators of fitness test outcome in the British Army.
The support of the UK MoD, for funding the first author’s PhD is acknowledged.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences