Comparing Three Techniques of Measuring the Body Composition of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets

Research Paper Title

Body Composition of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets: A Comparison Across Three Techniques of Measurement.


Physical fitness is imperative for the Army Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets to be commissioned for active duty. This project compared the standard anthropometric assessment of ROTC cadets using tape measurement to body composition measurements using Air Displacement Plethysmography (ADP) from the Bod Pod and the seven- site Pollock Skin Fold Thickness (SFM) measurement. These results were compared to the norms established by the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), recommending to improve ROTC body measurement method.


Thirteen ROTC cadets were recruited from Central State and Cedarville Universities. Cadets were measured using the ADP (BODPOD) and SFM method. Tape measurements were provided by the ROTC programme. Descriptive statistics were generated and classifications for each cadet were made based on APFT standards for the aforementioned methods. T-test and Bland-Altman tests were conducted to compare the classifications.


Numbers indicate, the three methods measuring body composition present different body fat outcomes for each candidate. The SFM overestimated body fat and the tape measurement underestimated body fat when the ADP measurement is used as a gold standard.


Three individuals were classified as “Risky (low body fat)” by Tape Measurement but as “lean” or “moderately lean” by SFM and the “gold standard” ADP. These results indicate that the systematic underestimation by the tape measurement can cause unnecessary concern and follow up, using limited resources unnecessarily. The rerecommend that ROTC use ADP body fat testing whenever available to more accurately estimate body fat percentages for cadets. The second choice would be SFM.

You can read the full report: Body Composition of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets (Dave, 2015).


Dave N.J. (2015 )Body Composition of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets: A Comparison Across Three Techniques of Measurement. Thesis. Wright State University. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 02 February, 2017].


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