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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 May;55(5):535-43

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Trunk muscle strength tests to predict injuries, attrition and military ability in soldiers

Wunderlin S. 1, 2, Roos L. 1, Roth R. 2, Faude O. 2, Frey F. 3, Wyss T. 1

1 Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen, Magglingen, Switzerland; 2 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 3 Swiss Army Medical Services Ittigen, Ittigen, Switzerland


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AIM: Physical fitness is related to injuries, attrition and military ability in military organisations. Therefore, all military organizations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO) test their employees’ physical fitness at least once a year. The sit-up test is part of most of the fitness test batteries used. A possible alternative to the sit-up test is the global trunk muscle strength test (TMS). The aim of the present study was to compare the predictability of injuries, attrition and military ability between TMS and sit-up test performances.
METHODS: A total of 230 male recruits in a Swiss Army fusilier company completed TMS and sit-up tests in week 1 of military training school. During the following 13 weeks, injuries, attrition and military ability data were collected. Statistical analysis included backward binary regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis to compare the discriminative power of TMS and the sit-up test to predict injuries, attrition and military ability.
RESULTS: ROC analysis revealed larger areas under the curve for total injuries, attrition and military ability for the TMS (area total injuries=0.58; area attrition=0.60; area military ability=0.59) than for the sit-up test (area total injuries=0.53; area attrition=0.50; area military ability=0.56). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed low body mass index, low TMS performance and cigarette smoking to be potential risk factors for injuries; while sit-up performance was extracted from the model.
CONCLUSION: The TMS seems to be a valid alternative to the sit-up test in a military setting due to its appropriate results in predicting injuries in the present study.

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thomas.wyss@baspo.admin.ch