To fulfil the various tasks and roles efficiently in the Royal Air Force good health is implicit but 'fitness' is not so specifically defined. Fitness relates to a task; it does not describe a state of health. Using a system of submaximal measurement of oxygen uptake (VO2), skinfold thickness, weight and health parameters involving an actuarial scaled questionnaire and blood pressure measurement, a fitness profile was developed evaluating health and fitness. The physiologic characteristics of eighty-two aircrew, 90% fast-jet, fixed-wing and 10% rotary wing employed in search and rescue duties, were investigated in evaluating and developing the fitness profile. The results suggest that individual strengths and weaknesses can be identified simply and economically in a framework of physically educating the individual and also where necessary motivating him to make minor lifestyle modifications, the objective being to ensure his health compatible with his task fitness.
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