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).

Related Stories

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

date 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

Breastfeeding protects against environmental pollution

date 5 hours ago

Living in a city with a high level of vehicle traffic or close to a steel works means living with two intense sources of environmental pollution. However, a study conducted by the UPV/EHU researcher Aitana ...

When it comes to hearing, diet may trump noise exposure

date 5 hours ago

Although the old wives' tale about carrots being good for your eyesight has been debunked, University of Florida researchers have found a link between healthy eating and another of your five senses: hearing.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bredmond
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.