Fitness and Activity Assessments among U.S. Army Populations: Implications for NCHS General Population Surveys,
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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The military forces of this country represent the largest population for which physical fitness is routinely assessed. Field measures of aerobic power, muscle strength and muscular endurance, along with body weight, are measured twice yearly in the U.S. Army through age 60. Field measures are defined as those conducted by army units without the aid of equipment or indoor facilities. The purpose of these periodic fitness evaluations is both as an indicator of the adequacy of training to meet performance goals as well as a motivator to the individual to train and improve their fitness level. In addition to these periodic field measures, extensive population surveys of laboratory-measured fitness and activity assessment have been made in a wide variety of Army units over the past ten years by the Exercise Physiology Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. These assessments have been part of an ongoing research program to study factors influencing fitness in the Army. This chapter presents a description of the survey methods and sample data from both approaches.
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