Incidence of acute injury related to fitness testing of U.S. Army personnel

Mil Med. 2005 Dec;170(12):1005-11. doi: 10.7205/milmed.170.12.1005.


Objective: This study documented the incidence of acute injuries related to the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 1,532 soldiers after they completed a biannual APFT. Self-reported injury responses determined the rates of injuries resulting from the push-up, sit-up, and 2-mile run events and were classified into three categories, i.e., all injuries, performance-limiting injuries, and time-loss injuries.

Results: A total of 117 soldiers (injury rate, 7.6%) reported sustaining an injury (all injuries), with 11% attributed to the push-up event, 56% to the sit-up event, and 32% to the run event. Forty-six of these injuries reportedly limited performance (injury rate, 3.0%), and 11 soldiers received a duty-limiting profile (time-loss injury rate, 0.7%), which did not differ among events. Injury rates were not significantly associated with the number of sit-ups performed per week or the number of days per week a soldier participated in physical training and were not greater for soldiers who trained specifically for the APFT. History of previous injury was a significant risk factor for injury.

Conclusion: The push-up, sit-up, and run events of the APFT do not pose a considerable acute injury risk to active duty soldiers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Work Capacity Evaluation*
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology