Vol 72, No 1 (2021)
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Published online: 2021-03-29

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Physical fitness in Spanish naval cadets. A four-year study

Iris M. de Oliveira1, Mª Helena Vila1, Francisco J. Burgos-Martos2, José M. Cancela1
Pubmed: 33829468
IMH 2021;72(1):10-17.


Background: Military physical readiness largely depends on soldiers maintaining their general health and physical fitness at a level which enables them to perform their requisite occupational duties in garrison and deployment environments. Understanding the physical fitness of naval cadets throughout its formative stages will help us define a training programme tailored to their needs. The objective of this study was to analyse the physical fitness of cadets enrolled in military training in the academic year 2018–2019 in the Military Naval Academy in Marín, Spain.

Materials and methods: A longitudinal correlational-descriptive design was undertaken. 167 of the 292 students who participated in the global analysis participated in the pre and post (first and second semester) physical fitness tests (153 males and 14 females, mean age 21.9 ± 3.5) and were stratified into age groups. Anthropometric measurements and data from the Spanish army physical fitness assessment system (2 min push-ups, 1000 and 50 m races, vertical jump and 50 m swimming) were used. A descriptive, inferential, and correlational analysis was carried out and the level of significance set for the study was p ≤ 0.05. Results: Inferential analysis between age group markers and over the total sample shows statistical differences for the total sample in the 1000 m and 50 m race (p < 0.001) and in vertical jump test (p < 0.010). There was significant statistical correlation between all five tests undertaken.

Conclusions: The level of physical fitness of cadets at the Military Naval Academy in Marín, Spain appears to be acceptable when compared to other countries’ military naval corps. Coherence between training and evaluation is extremely important, and a re-evaluation of stamina and strength training is probably advisable.

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