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Body mass index predicts selected physical fitness attributes but is not associated with performance on military relevant tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers.
J Sci Med Sport 2017; 20 Suppl 4:S79-S84JS

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Army body composition standards are based upon validated criteria; however, certain field-expedient methodologies (e.g., weight-for-height, body mass index [BMI]) may disqualify individuals from service who may otherwise excel on physical performance and military-relevant tasks. The purpose was to assess soldier physical performance and military-specific task/fitness performance stratified by BMI.

DESIGN

Cross-sectional observational study.

METHODS

Male (n=275) and female (n=46) soldiers performed a wide-array of physical fitness tests and military-specific tasks, including the Army physical fitness test (APFT). Within-sex performance data were analyzed by BMI tertile stratification or by Army Body Composition Program (ABCP) weight-for-height (calculated BMI) screening standards using ANOVA/Tukey post-hoc or independent t-tests, respectively.

RESULTS

BMI stratification (higher vs. lower BMI) was associated with significant improvements in muscular strength and power, but also with decrements in speed/agility in male and female soldiers. Within the military specific tasks, a higher BMI was associated with an increased APFT 2-Mile Run time; however, performance on a 1600-m Loaded March or a Warrior Task and Battle Drill obstacle course was not related to BMI in either sex. Male and Female soldiers who did not meet ABCP screening standards demonstrated a slower 2-Mile Run time; however, not meeting the ABCP BMI standard only affected a minimal number (∼6%) of soldiers' ability to pass the APFT.

CONCLUSIONS

Military body composition standards require a careful balance between physical performance, health, and military readiness. Allowances should be considered where tradeoffs exist between body composition classifications and performance on physical tasks with high military relevance.

Authors+Show Affiliations

U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, Injury Prevention Division, USA. Electronic address: Joseph.r.pierce.ctr@mail.mil.U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, Injury Prevention Division, USA.U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, Injury Prevention Division, USA.U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, Injury Prevention Division, USA.U.S. Army Public Health Center, Office of the Scientific Advisor, USA.U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, Research and Analysis Directorate, USA.U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, Research and Analysis Directorate, USA.U.S. Army Public Health Center, Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate, Injury Prevention Division, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Observational Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28919497

Citation

Pierce, Joseph R., et al. "Body Mass Index Predicts Selected Physical Fitness Attributes but Is Not Associated With Performance On Military Relevant Tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers." Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 20 Suppl 4, 2017, pp. S79-S84.
Pierce JR, DeGroot DW, Grier TL, et al. Body mass index predicts selected physical fitness attributes but is not associated with performance on military relevant tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers. J Sci Med Sport. 2017;20 Suppl 4:S79-S84.
Pierce, J. R., DeGroot, D. W., Grier, T. L., Hauret, K. G., Nindl, B. C., East, W. B., ... Jones, B. H. (2017). Body mass index predicts selected physical fitness attributes but is not associated with performance on military relevant tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20 Suppl 4, pp. S79-S84. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2017.08.021.
Pierce JR, et al. Body Mass Index Predicts Selected Physical Fitness Attributes but Is Not Associated With Performance On Military Relevant Tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers. J Sci Med Sport. 2017;20 Suppl 4:S79-S84. PubMed PMID: 28919497.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Body mass index predicts selected physical fitness attributes but is not associated with performance on military relevant tasks in U.S. Army Soldiers. AU - Pierce,Joseph R, AU - DeGroot,David W, AU - Grier,Tyson L, AU - Hauret,Keith G, AU - Nindl,Bradley C, AU - East,Whitfield B, AU - McGurk,Michael S, AU - Jones,Bruce H, Y1 - 2017/09/06/ PY - 2017/03/29/received PY - 2017/08/18/revised PY - 2017/08/29/accepted PY - 2017/9/19/pubmed PY - 2018/3/24/medline PY - 2017/9/19/entrez KW - Army physical fitness test KW - Body composition KW - Exercise physiology KW - Military personnel KW - Physical fitness KW - Physical readiness SP - S79 EP - S84 JF - Journal of science and medicine in sport JO - J Sci Med Sport VL - 20 Suppl 4 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Army body composition standards are based upon validated criteria; however, certain field-expedient methodologies (e.g., weight-for-height, body mass index [BMI]) may disqualify individuals from service who may otherwise excel on physical performance and military-relevant tasks. The purpose was to assess soldier physical performance and military-specific task/fitness performance stratified by BMI. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. METHODS: Male (n=275) and female (n=46) soldiers performed a wide-array of physical fitness tests and military-specific tasks, including the Army physical fitness test (APFT). Within-sex performance data were analyzed by BMI tertile stratification or by Army Body Composition Program (ABCP) weight-for-height (calculated BMI) screening standards using ANOVA/Tukey post-hoc or independent t-tests, respectively. RESULTS: BMI stratification (higher vs. lower BMI) was associated with significant improvements in muscular strength and power, but also with decrements in speed/agility in male and female soldiers. Within the military specific tasks, a higher BMI was associated with an increased APFT 2-Mile Run time; however, performance on a 1600-m Loaded March or a Warrior Task and Battle Drill obstacle course was not related to BMI in either sex. Male and Female soldiers who did not meet ABCP screening standards demonstrated a slower 2-Mile Run time; however, not meeting the ABCP BMI standard only affected a minimal number (∼6%) of soldiers' ability to pass the APFT. CONCLUSIONS: Military body composition standards require a careful balance between physical performance, health, and military readiness. Allowances should be considered where tradeoffs exist between body composition classifications and performance on physical tasks with high military relevance. SN - 1878-1861 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28919497/Body_mass_index_predicts_selected_physical_fitness_attributes_but_is_not_associated_with_performance_on_military_relevant_tasks_in_U_S__Army_Soldiers_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1440-2440(17)31026-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -