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Self-rated physical work demands for ground combat soldiers
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, The Rydberg Laboratory for Applied Sciences (RLAS). Lund University, Lund, Sweden & Swedish Armed Forces, Eksjö, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0613-4096
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, The Rydberg Laboratory for Applied Sciences (RLAS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9337-5113
Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, The Rydberg Laboratory for Applied Sciences (RLAS). Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Rheumatology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8081-579X
2018 (English)In: PES 2018 3rd International Conference on Physical Employment Standards, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, 17-19 July 2018: Conference Book of Abstracts, 2018, p. 31-31Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Military tasks are physically demanding, and the ability to achieve and maintain the physical capacity required to perform all military tasks are important. Previous studies in other countries have identified the most physically demanding work tasks to be carrying, lifting heavy loads, and digging. The aim of the present study was to identify the most physically demanding work tasks for Swedish ground combat soldiers and to study gender differences in perceived difficulty of the tasks.

Methods: Based on procedural documentation, field manuals and job analyses, a questionnaire was developed that defined 30 work tasks for ground combat soldiers. To assess face and content validity, an expert focus group was used. The questionnaire was distributed to 231 ground combat soldiers, 165 of whom responded (71.4%), rating the perceived physical strain of the identified work tasks.

Results: Of the 30 item work tasks included in the survey, five were selected as the most physically demanding. Transport of wounded was rated as the most demanding task both for aerobic endurance and strength. Other highly demanding tasks for aerobic capacity were low/high crawl, dismounted attack in close country, urban and rough terrain, and carrying heavy loads. For muscle strength demands there were a total of 11 different work task ranked for hand-, arm-, leg-, and core strength although many of them only occurred in one of the areas of interest. Carrying heavy loads were ranked in second place except for leg and core strength there it was in third place, instead high and low crawl was ranked very strenuous for leg and core strength. Care of wounded were ranked high for hand strength but not so hard for the rest of the areas.

Conclusions: Swedish ground combat soldiers rate many tasks as physically demanding. Almost all the identified tasks were physically challenging and contains elements of lifting and carrying, which demand personnel’s muscular strength and muscular endurance capabilities for the soldiers. There were no significant differences in ranked physical requirements between male and female soldiers although they sometimes ranked the tasks in different order. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 31-31
Keywords [en]
exercise physiology, work demands, ground combat soldiers
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-39439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-39439DiVA, id: diva2:1317144
Conference
3rd International Physical Employment Standards Conference, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom, July 17-19, 2018
Available from: 2019-05-21 Created: 2019-05-21 Last updated: 2019-10-02

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Larsson, JonasOlsson, M. CharlotteBremander, Ann

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