Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Background: Physical fitness is imperative for the Army Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets to be commissioned for active duty. This project compared the standard anthropometric assessment of ROTC cadets using tape measurement to body composition measurements using Air Displacement Plethysmography (ADP) from the Bod Pod and the seven- site Pollock Skin Fold Thickness (SFM) measurement. These results were compared to the norms established by the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), recommending to improve ROTC body measurement method.

Method: Thirteen ROTC cadets were recruited from Central State and Cedarville Universities. Cadets were measured using the ADP (BODPOD) and SFM method. Tape measurements were provided by the ROTC program. Descriptive statistics were generated and classifications for each cadet were made based on APFT standards for the aforementioned methods. T-test and Bland-Altman tests were conducted to compare the classifications.

Results: Numbers indicate, the three methods measuring body composition present different body fat outcomes for each candidate. The SFM overestimated body fat and the tape measurement underestimated body fat when the ADP measurement is used as a gold standard.

Conclusion: Three individuals were classified as “Risky (low body fat)” by Tape Measurement but as “lean” or “moderately lean” by SFM and the “gold standard” ADP. These results indicate that the systematic underestimation by the tape measurement can cause unnecessary concern and follow up, using limited resources unnecessarily. We recommend that ROTC use ADP body fat testing whenever available to more accurately estimate body fat percentages for cadets. The second choice would be SFM.

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mph_dave_namrata_poster.pdf (402 kB)

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