Army to assess body composition and physical fitness

JULY 6, 2022 – The next phase of data collection for the U.S. Army Body Composition Study will take place at Fort Lee, Va., July 15-22.

The study previously collected data from Fort Lee in February of this year, as well as Fort Bragg, North Carolina and West Point, NY.

The U.S. Army Initial Military Training Center (USACIMT), with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) as lead scientist, is conducting an extensive study to examine the association between body composition and physical performance of the soldier.

The results of the study will help inform potential future changes to the Army body composition program.

The study is part of the Army’s efforts to optimize holistic health and fitness and improve soldier readiness. It’s been over 30 years since the military began using body fat standards in place of height and weight tables. A re-examination of strength is needed as Army physical preparation programs evolve to reduce injury and empower soldiers to perform basic soldier tasks.

The scientifically and ethically vetted study will examine active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve soldiers representing diverse backgrounds, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, and physical demand categories and functions .

During the study, researchers will assess height and body composition by measuring soldiers’ height, weight, circumference and body composition and examine them against their most recent fitness score (i.e. ACFT or APFT) as well as the dates and types of physical limitations due to injury. For women, the study will also examine number and dates of pregnancies, methods of delivery, first postpartum fitness score and ABCP record, if available.

The study will use four measurement techniques to assess body composition: (1) standard AR 600-9 strip test, (2) dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), (3) three-dimensional full-body scan (scan 3D), and (4) bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).

The study will examine the associations of these four measures with exercise performance and compare them to current AR 600-9 circumference measures. Additional information will provide relationships between type and time lost from work due to injury or pregnancy and associations with body composition and physical performance.

The holistic health and fitness system is an investment in preparing every soldier. It is a commitment to our people by protecting their health and ensuring they are prepared to fight and win our nation’s wars.

Soldiers interested in volunteering for the study should contact their chain of command or contact CIMT directly at cimtpao@gmail.com.

History of Hunter Rhoades
US Army Initial Military Training Center

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