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Changes in Air Force fitness measurements pre- and post-childbirth.
U.S. Air Force (USAF) personnel are required to take periodic fitness assessments with minimum requirements to earn satisfactory performance evaluations. Active duty women are exempt from fitness testing during pregnancy and until 6 months postpartum. Although there is evidence that many women do not achieve prepregnancy fitness levels by 6 months postpartum, no published studies were found that evaluated changes in fitness measurements and assessment pass rates in active duty USAF women after childbirth. The purpose of this study was to compare USAF fitness assessment component measurements and overall pass rates at 6 months postpartum to prepregnancy measurements. A paired t-test analysis of fitness component measurements of 107 active duty women showed significantly larger abdominal circumferences, fewer push-up repetitions, and longer run times at 6 months postpartum when compared to prepregnancy assessments. No significant difference was found in sit-up measurements. Secondly, there was a significantly lower pass rate at 6-months postpartum compared to the prepregnancy time frame. Results from this study indicate that women may struggle to achieve prepregnant fitness levels and pass their fitness test by 6 months postpartum. More research is needed to discover which factors impact women's ability to successfully meet fitness standards postpartum.
Work Capacity Evaluation
Pub Type(s)Journal Article