The Norwegian Home Guard (HG) consists of soldiers and officers who primarily live a civilian life but are typically called in for military training a few days per year. Although full-time soldiers and officers are monitored annually on physical fitness, no such assessments are performed on regular HG personnel. Data on physical fitness of similar forces from other nations are also scarce. Thus, the main aim of this study was to collect reference data on physical fitness in HG personnel. A total of 799 male soldiers and officers from the regular and the rapid reaction HG force participated in this study. Between 13 and 19% of the subjects were obese, according to measured body mass index, waist circumference and estimations of body fat. The mean (95% confidence interval) estimated peak oxygen uptake from the 20-m shuttle run test was 50.1 (49.7-50.6) mL·kg·minute. Personnel from the rapid reaction force had a more favorable body composition compared with the regular HG personnel, whereas no differences were found for peak oxygen uptake. The physical demands on HG personnel are not well defined, but we believe that the majority of Norwegian HG soldiers and officers have a sufficient aerobic fitness level to fulfill their planned HG tasks. The gathered data can be used by military leaders to review the ability of the HG to perform expected military tasks, to serve as a future reference material for secular changes in HG fitness level, and for comparison purposes among similar international reserve forces.
Favorable anthropometrical status and aerobic fitness levels are emphasized in Norwegian Air Force personnel. However, it is unknown how these variables develop in Air Force cadets. Thus, the main aim of the present study was to examine how anthropometrics and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2(max)) change among Norwegian Air Force cadets during 3 yr of Academy studies.
There were 30 male cadets included in the study. Bodyweight, body mass index (BMI), estimated percent body fat, and VO2(max) were measured at entry and at the end of the first year of Academy studies. After the first year, 14 cadets left the Academy, while the remaining cadets were retested at the end of the second and third years. RESULTS63: At entry, mean (95% CI) bodyweight, BMI, percent body fat, and VO2(max) were 78.4 (75.2, 81.6) kg, 24.3 (23.5, 25.1) kg x m(-2), 17.8 (16.3, 19.3)%, and 4.48 (4.25, 4.72) L x min(-1), respectively. Percent body fat decreased significantly by 1.1 (0.2, 2.0) percentage points at the end of the first year, while the other variables did not change during the first year. Between entry and end of third year there was no change in any of the main outcome variables.
Anthropometrical status and VO2(max) did not change in Norwegian Air Force cadets between entry and the end of 3 yr of Air Force Academy studies. From the 1- and 3-yr follow-up analysis, the only significant change was a small reduction in estimated percent body fat from entry to the end of the first year.
is regularly monitored in military personnel, as occupational demands require a certain level of fitness. Distance run (eg, 2 mile) is typically carried out to measure aerobic fitness, but an alternative test could be the 20 meter shuttle run test (20 m SRT). The present study aimed to evaluate validity and reliability of this test in military personnel. An equation for predicting maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was developed on 38 Home Guard soldiers and cross validated in 28 Air Force cadets. Reliability of the 20 m SRT, expressed as mean difference in estimated VO2max-- 95% limits of agreement, was -0.8 +/- 3.1 mL x kg(-1) min(-1). Mean difference +/- limits of agreement between estimated and measured VO2max was -0.4 +/- 6.2 mL.kg(-1)x min-'. The 20 m SRT seems to be a reliable test, although validity is less certain, as relatively high variability was observed between measured and estimated VO2max from the 20 m SRT.