Canadian Armed Forces: Fitness Standards & Younger Personnel

Research Paper Title

Development of Physical Fitness Standards for Canadian Armed Forces Younger Personnel.


The purpose of this study was to develop minimum physical fitness standards based on common task criteria for personnel younger than 35 years of age in the Canadian Armed Forces.


A random sample of 66 men and 144 women performed the Exercise Prescription (EXPRES) test and five physically demanding tasks that simulated common military tasks. Common cutting scores were selected as the point at which 75% of the total weighted sample passed each task. Since there were significant differences between the sexes in task performance and technique execution, the groups were analysed separately.


The results indicated a range in variance of 14 to 48% between military task performance and physical fitness test score, thus suggesting that fitness measures are a poor predictor of task performance. Because of the low variance observed the passing group of each task was treated as a representative sample of subjects whose fitness profiles were indicative of those able to meet task criteria. The 5th percentile fitness scores of the passing group were proposed as the minimum fitness standard.


These conditions resulted in fitness standards that were physically more demanding for women than for men.


Stevenson, J.M., Bryant, J.T., Andrew, G.M., French, S.L., Thomson, J.M. & Deakin, J.M. (1992) Development of Physical Fitness Standards for Canadian Armed Forces Younger Personnel. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences. 17(3), pp.214-221.


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