Air Force mulls fitness assessment changes to reduce risks from rapid weight loss

Senior Airman Chris Barrier from the 124th Security Forces Squadron gets his waist measured during his annual fitness assessment in Apr. 2015. The Air Force is considering administering the abdominal circumference test at a separate time from the rest of the physical fitness assessment. CASSIE MORLOCK/U.S. AIR FORCE
Senior Airman Chris Barrier from the 124th Security Forces Squadron gets his waist measured during his annual fitness assessment in Apr. 2015. The Air Force is considering administering the abdominal circumference test at a separate time from the rest of the physical fitness assessment. CASSIE MORLOCK/U.S. AIR FORCE

Air Force mulls fitness assessment changes to reduce risks from rapid weight loss

by Jennifer H. Svan
Stars and Stripes

The Air Force is considering changes to the way it conducts fitness assessments to prevent airmen from over-taxing their bodies to try to meet test standards, the service’s top enlisted leader said.

On the heels of three deaths earlier this year that occurred after physical training, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright said the service may follow the Army and separate, by a week or more, the abdominal circumference measurement portion of the test from the physically challenging component, which includes timed pushups, sit-ups and a run.

The idea would be to avoid testing airmen when they may not be at peak performance levels — or worse, in a weakened state after trying to lose weight quickly to reduce their waist size and lose weight ahead of the test.

“We have airmen who go to great lengths to get a good score on the abdominal circumference,” Wright said. “So, they take certain things, they starve themselves, they go out of their way (to pass) because it counts for 20% of the test. And then they try to run or do the other components.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.599592

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