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Trends of physical fitness related to weight status: An analysis including over 412,000 Swiss young male conscripts from 2007 to 2022


Gubelmann, Cédric; Stanga, Zeno; Staub, Kaspar; Marques-Vidal, Pedro (2024). Trends of physical fitness related to weight status: An analysis including over 412,000 Swiss young male conscripts from 2007 to 2022. Preventive Medicine Reports, 38:102591.

Abstract

Objective: The high prevalence of obesity among young adults in the civilian population pose challenges in recruiting physically fit soldiers. We assessed the trend of physical fitness related to weight status among Swiss male conscripts.
Methods: Cross-sectional data of medical examination data during mandatory conscription for the Swiss Armed Forces, 2007–2022 (N = 412,186). The conscription physical test (CPT) assessed five aspects of physical fitness, each aspect scoring 0–25, one component being an endurance test (ET). CPT and ET categories were defined as per military guidelines: “Insufficient”, “Sufficient”, “Good”, “Very Good” and “Excellent”. Weight status was based on body mass index (BMI).
Results: Conscripts with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI 25–29.99) had significantly (p < 0.001) lower CPT and ET scores compared to normal weight [multivariable-adjusted mean: 54.7 ± 0.1 and 66.5 ± 0.1, vs. 73.6 ± 0.1 for CPT; 8.8 ± 0.1 and 12.5 ± 0.1, vs. 15.3 ± 0.1 for ET] and a higher likelihood to be categorized as “Insufficient” [weighted relative-risk ratio and (95 %CI): 70.4 (63.7–77.7) and 2.35 (2.16–2.55) for CPT; 77.1 (71.0–83.7) and 3.05 (2.91–3.20) for ET] or “Sufficient” [7.67 (7.38–7.97) and 2.02 (1.99–2.06) for CPT; 8.93 (8.37–9.52) and 2.02 (1.98–2.06) for ET]. Compared to normal weight conscripts, the CPT and ET scores decreased over the conscription years for conscripts with obesity (multivariable-adjusted mean yearly change: −0.11 ± 0.02 for CPT; −0.032 ± 0.007 for ET) and overweight (−0.16 ± 0.01 for CPT and −0.044 ± 0.004 for ET).
Conclusion: Male Swiss conscripts with overweight and obesity have lower physical fitness than normal weight conscripts, and this condition tends to worsen over the conscription years.

Abstract

Objective: The high prevalence of obesity among young adults in the civilian population pose challenges in recruiting physically fit soldiers. We assessed the trend of physical fitness related to weight status among Swiss male conscripts.
Methods: Cross-sectional data of medical examination data during mandatory conscription for the Swiss Armed Forces, 2007–2022 (N = 412,186). The conscription physical test (CPT) assessed five aspects of physical fitness, each aspect scoring 0–25, one component being an endurance test (ET). CPT and ET categories were defined as per military guidelines: “Insufficient”, “Sufficient”, “Good”, “Very Good” and “Excellent”. Weight status was based on body mass index (BMI).
Results: Conscripts with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI 25–29.99) had significantly (p < 0.001) lower CPT and ET scores compared to normal weight [multivariable-adjusted mean: 54.7 ± 0.1 and 66.5 ± 0.1, vs. 73.6 ± 0.1 for CPT; 8.8 ± 0.1 and 12.5 ± 0.1, vs. 15.3 ± 0.1 for ET] and a higher likelihood to be categorized as “Insufficient” [weighted relative-risk ratio and (95 %CI): 70.4 (63.7–77.7) and 2.35 (2.16–2.55) for CPT; 77.1 (71.0–83.7) and 3.05 (2.91–3.20) for ET] or “Sufficient” [7.67 (7.38–7.97) and 2.02 (1.99–2.06) for CPT; 8.93 (8.37–9.52) and 2.02 (1.98–2.06) for ET]. Compared to normal weight conscripts, the CPT and ET scores decreased over the conscription years for conscripts with obesity (multivariable-adjusted mean yearly change: −0.11 ± 0.02 for CPT; −0.032 ± 0.007 for ET) and overweight (−0.16 ± 0.01 for CPT and −0.044 ± 0.004 for ET).
Conclusion: Male Swiss conscripts with overweight and obesity have lower physical fitness than normal weight conscripts, and this condition tends to worsen over the conscription years.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology
Language:English
Date:1 February 2024
Deposited On:08 Jan 2024 16:22
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2211-3355
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2024.102591
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)