Push-ups no match for combat

Artillery gunner from 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (1RGT) performs a box lift and place test

Presenting at the 2011 Defence Human Sciences Symposium, DSTO researcher Greg Carstairs outlined that current generic fitness assessments (including push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups) are often poor predictors of performance in strength based job tasks.

“Assessments that are directly relevant to specific tasks give a better indication of a person's ability to perform a role.  This means that the person can perform more effectively with a reduced risk of injury," Mr. Carstairs said.

In a DSTO study involving over 100 soldiers, the effectiveness of push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups was compared to a 'box lift and place' assessment method (pictured) that involves lifting a weighted box in a manner that replicates what is required in the field.

The results of this assessment method were then recorded against five strength based task simulations, including 'bombing up' a tank, repetitively loading an artillery gun, dragging an injured soldier, building a bridge, and lifting a field pack onto the tray of a truck.

Success with the 'box lift and place' assessment method was closely correlated to success in four of the five strength based tasks, while push-ups and chin-ups correlated with only one of the five job tasks (bridge building).

“The box lift assessment is a far superior predictor of job performance,” Mr. Carstairs said.

“With combat roles scheduled to soon be open to women, these new methods will help us to objectively assess the physical capacity of our soldiers, irrespective of age, sex, height or weight."

This research forms part of the Physical Employment Standards project, which is developing physical tests that are predictive of job performance. As a flow-on effect, it is hoped that PES will help to improve recruitment, training and retention of capable personnel in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Provided by Australian Government

3.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA announces new limits on high-dose simvastatin (Zocor)

Jun 09, 2011

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced new limitations to the use of high-dose simvastatin, due to the increased risk of muscle pain and weakness (myopathy) and in rare cases, kidney damage and ...

Recommended for you

Health insurers using drug coverage to discriminate

6 hours ago

Some insurers offering health plans through the new federal marketplace may be using drug coverage decisions to discourage people with HIV from selecting their plans, according to a new study from Harvard ...

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

7 hours ago

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports. ...

California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat

8 hours ago

California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bredmond
not rated yet Dec 01, 2011
maybe the involvement of legs has something to do with it. They should add squats to their routine, or lunges or something that strengthens legs.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.