Assessment of physical fitness in military and security forces: a systematic review


  • Manuel Herrador-Colmenero
  • Ginés Fernández-Vicente
  • Jonatan R. Ruiz


The aim of this systematic review was to comprehensively study the physical fitness test and batteries used by military and security forces. Our ultimate goal was to propose a physical fitness test battery to be used in military and security forces based on the currently available evidence. A literature search was conducted using four electronic databases; MEDLINE, SCOPUS, SPORTDISCUS and PUBMED and two search platform; OVID and EBSCOhot. Four categories of search terms were identified: assessment, tool, fitness and organization. Titles and abstracts were reviewed to determine whether the studies met the inclusion criteria. The electronic search strategy produced 5,492 studies. After applying the inclusion criteria, we identified a total of 193 studies. One hundred fifty-six studies (80.83%) assessed cardiorespiratory fitness, 133 studies (68.91%) assessed muscle skeletal fitness, 16 studies (8.29%) assessed motor fitness and 124 studies (64.25%) assessed body composition. The test that has been used the most included the 2.4 km run, sit-ups and pull-ups tests as well as body mass index, percentage of body fat measured by skinfold thickness and body weight and fat free mass. Meanwhile more evidence is accumulated in military and security forces, these tests should be included when assessing physical fitness in this population setting.


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