Validity of Self-Assessed Physical Fitness
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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This study compared self-ratings of components of physical fitness with objective measures of physical fitness. We made comparisons in two groups of male infantry soldiers n96 and n276 and one group of older male military officers n241. To obtain self-ratings of physical fitness, we asked subjects, Compared to other of your age and sex, how would you rate your a endurance, b sprint speed, c strength, d flexibility Subjects responded to each of the four questions on a five point scale. Self-ratings of endurance were systematically related to three measures of aerobic capacity, including VO2max, peak VO2, and two mile run time r0.29 to 0.53. Self-ratings of sprint speed showed only weak relationships to measures of anaerobic capacity assessed by the Wingate test, pushups, and sit-ups r0.10 to 0.17. Strength ratings were systematically related to measures of maximal strength r0.28 to 0.53. Upper body strength measures were more closely associated with the self ratings of strength than were measures of lower body strength. Responses to the flexibility question were systematically related to measures of hiplow back flexibility r0.30 and 0.48 but not to other measures of flexibility. Apparently, physically active subjects can approximately classify their aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and some types of flexibility.
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