Philippine military cuts 'life-threatening' run tests

June 25, 2014

Most armies pride themselves on pushing soldiers to their physical limits in preparation for combat.

But in the Philippines, senior officers have decided a two-mile run could be "life-threatening" to troops, and have shortened a to compensate.

The timed run forms a key part of the twice-yearly fitness examination for all soldiers, but from next month the apparently deadly distance will be reduced to a safer two kilometres, military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala said.

The change was instituted as three officers have collapsed and died doing the fitness tests since 2010, according to a military commissioned health study that recommended the shorter runs, according to Zagala.

"The technical working group found out that after two kilometres they (soldiers) can fall victim to heart attack or stroke," he said.

One of those who died was a marine officer who ran the old distance in 16 minutes, Zagala said.

All the time limits are determined by the troops' ages, with the youngest soldiers required to run the two kilometres within 12 minutes, according to Zagala.

Officers who fail the will not be given command assignments, while failure for ordinary could be cause for dismissal from the service, he added.

Zagala insisted that, despite the seemingly short and slow times required, the fitness test was in line with other nations.

He said four neighbouring Southeast Asian countries had also decided to implement shorter runs in their tests, with Indonesian troops running the longest at 2.4 kilometres.

Explore further: 'Too fat to fight': thousands of British soldiers overweight

Related Stories

'Too fat to fight': thousands of British soldiers overweight

June 22, 2014
The British army has a global reputation for efficiency and performance, but new figures published on Sunday suggest that its soldiers might be getting a little soft.

Army tests both women, men in combat fitness study

March 13, 2014
Army researchers are studying how hard soldiers—both women and men—have to work at battlefield tasks as the scientists strive to define gender-neutral fitness standards for troops in combat units.

Fitness tests for British police after half found overweight

March 15, 2012
British police officers should undertake an annual fitness test and face a pay cut if they repeatedly fail, a report said Thursday, after finding that half of London policemen were overweight.

US troops turn to liposuction to pass fat test (Update)

October 28, 2013
The soldiers often call Dr. Adam Tattelbaum, a plastic surgeon, in a panic. They need liposuction, and fast.

US teens' cardiorespiratory fitness has dropped in last decade: report

May 28, 2014
(HealthDay)—More and more U.S. teens now fall short when it comes to cardiorespiratory fitness, a new government report shows.

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

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.