are discussed in Chapter 2. This chapter seeks to investigate the elements of physical fitness and their relationship to health, readiness, and body composition; to explore the present programs and policies in the military and other uniformed (law enforcement and firefighting) service organizations; and to make recommendations for future programs and assessments.

Definition Of Fitness

In 1994, Bouchard and Shepard proposed a model describing the relationships among physical activity, fitness, and health for the International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity, Fitness, and Health. They defined fitness as "matching of the individual to his or her physical and social environment" (p. 81) (see Figure 3-1) and pointed out that the two goals of fitness were performance and health. Performance-related fitness was proposed to include motor skills; cardiorespiratory power and capacity; muscular power, strength, and endurance; body size; body composition; motivation; nutritional status; and genetics. Health-related fitness was defined as having "an ability to perform daily activities with vigor" (p. 81) and a low risk of developing degenerative diseases. The components of health-related fitness include body composition, strength and endurance, cardiovascular and respiratory function, and intracellular metabolism. Clearly, these two goals of fitness lie on a continuum.

Thus, the issue of physical fitness requirements in the military (or the general population) is twofold. A basic level of physical fitness is required for overall health in all individuals (ACSM, 1990; DHHS, 1991, 1996; International Proceedings and Consensus Statement, 1994; NIH, 1995), and there is a level of fitness required for the optimum performance of one's chosen lifestyle, including occupation and recreational activities.

The civilian literature provides a large body of information supporting the importance of physical activity in overall health and contains a variety of recommendations for amount and quality of exercise required to achieve health and performance-related fitness.

FIGURE 3-1 Relationships among habitual physical activity, health-related fitness, and health status. SOURCE: Reprinted by permission from C. Bouchard and R. J. Shephard (1994), "Physical activity, fitness, and health: The model and key concepts" in Physical Activity, Fitness, and Health: International Proceedings and Consensus Statement, edited by C. Bouchard, R. J. Shephard, and T. Stephens (Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics), 78.

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