Body Fat Percentage and Body Mass Index as Predictors of Cadets’ Physical Performance

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 24 Jan 2014 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875399X01407010053


The purpose of this study was twofold: Firstly, to examine the use of Body Mass Index (BMI) and Body Fat (BF %) measurements in order to monitor the cadets in the Hellenic Army Academy and secondly, to evaluate the aspects that enhance the performance of the cadets in specific physical activities, in order to help them to be more efficient in their duties as officers. More specifically, this study sets out to examine the advantage or disadvantage that cadets, with specific body composition have towards their peers and whether these characteristics can predict their performance in specific tests. Anthropometric measurements (height, body mass, BMI and BF %) and performance in specific physical tests were assessed for 868 male cadets with an average age of 19.9±1.6 years from all 4 undergraduate classes of the Academy. The results were extracted through odds ratios analysis for the different categories. It was shown that the cadets who belonged to groups with lower BMI and BF % had an advantage in their performance during the tests. BF % was presented as a more accurate predictor than BMI and the odds ratios for the tests revealed interesting associations, between the BF % of the cadets and their probability to accomplish specific tasks, which may help to enhance performance. In conclusion, it was recommended to use more than one anthropometric component for classification of the cadets and not to depend solely on BMI values, in order to have a more holistic picture of their physical condition and physical activity levels.

Keywords: BMI, BF%, cadets, Hellenic Army Academy, odds ratio, physical activity.
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