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Physical Performance on the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT), Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and Relationship to Body Mass Index During Initial Entry Training - OPAT Phase 1

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Technical Report,01 Jan 2016,31 Dec 2016

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U.S. Army Public Health Center (APHC), Injury Prevention Division Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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The specific purpose of this report was to describe the inter-relationships between physical performance on the OPAT and APFT and BMI in college-aged 21 or - 3 y male n774 BMI25.4 or - 3.7 kgm-2 and female n195 BMI23.9 or - 2.7 kgm-2 Army trainees. Differences between male and female trainees on the OPAT and APFT reflect the well-documented physiological differences in physical performance between men and women. However, the trainees who were the lowest APFT performers at entry were the most improved by the end of IET, a pattern observed in both men and women. Physical performance on selected tests was related to BMI quartile stratification, but in a sex-specific manner. This report collectively demonstrates that the OPAT and APFT, both implemented for different purposes occupation determination and general fitness, respectively, provide unique perspectives into Army trainee physical performance. Because important relationships exist between BMI and physical performance performance enhanced in some cases while decreased in others, when examined in the context of increased BMI, there may be situations in which the need for increased muscular strength and power is more important than health concerns related to suboptimal BMI.

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