Hygiene [hy·giene]
noun
conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease

Maintaining minimum physical fitness is a form hygiene and failing to do so is unhygienic.

It is depressing to see things like this:

Springs Officers Will No Longer Take Fitness Tests After Discrimination Lawsuit
Springs Officers Will No Longer Take Fitness Tests After Discrimination Lawsuit

Last Friday the Colorado Springs Police Department agreed to the demands of 12 female officers who filed a civil suit claiming the fitness tests are discriminatory.

Sad thing is, the tests alluded to in that article are typical Dr. Ken Cooper variety intended to assess general physical wellness. Dr. Cooper, the man who coined the word “aerobics”, established his minimum physical wellness recommendations at a point needed to avoid cardiovascular illness. Even though many military, police, and other PT tests are based on this, the tests are intended to assess sufficient fitness to help prevent disease, not establish occupational readiness.

These officers “won” a lawsuit that allows them to avoid a program of hygiene.

Here’s some relevant quotes from a similar policy.
Department of Defense Instruction Number 1308.3
DoD Physical Fitness and Body Fat Programs Procedures

It is DoD policy that service members shall maintain physical readiness through appropriate nutrition, health, and fitness habits. The Military Services shall design physical fitness training and related physical activities consistent with established scientific principles of physical conditioning that enhance fitness and general health essential to combat readiness. Maintaining desirable body composition is an integral part of physical fitness, general health, and military appearance. Physical fitness is an important component of the general health of the individual. Comprehensive fitness includes many aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Physical Fitness Tests assess Service-wide baseline generalized fitness levels and are not intended to represent mission or occupationally specific fitness demands.

Ensure that gender-appropriate body fat standards shall not be more stringent than 18 percent for men and 26 percent for women, and shall not be more liberal than 26 percent for men and 36 percent for women, as measured using circumference-based methods.

Each branch of the DoD can (and does) establish its own testing procedure. The Air Force remains closest to Cooper’s original recommendations, possibly because Cooper was an Air Force officer when conducting his initial research.

Cooper’s research has been verified by multiple studies:

I’ll be the first to point out flaws in Cooper’s aerobics-centric approach and why it isn’t ideal – especially for DoD and first responders. I have personally experienced how a strength-centric approach based on barbell training is superior. Even Dr. Cooper has amended his recommendations taking this into account.  Other doctors have made similar findings. However, from a wellness, disease prevention, and hygiene perspective, it does not matter.

People with a decent amount of overall fitness will find Cooper’s tests (and other proposed wellness assessments of fitness) easy regardless of how they obtain and maintain their fitness. Reaching suggested fitness and body composition minimums can be done by anyone investing 10-20 minutes a day and maintained doing the same three times a week. Body composition is best maintained by diet, something that merely requires better choices made consistently over time.

That is the point. Obtaining these test minimums should be fairly easy. They are easy for anyone in decent physical shape. For someone that isn’t, they’re easy to eventually reach for anyone willing to invest about an hour total a week and maintain control of what goes into their mouth the other 167 hours in that week. Such fitness minimums are only difficult for people excessively weak, fat, in poor condition, and/or with a debilitating medical issue – and unwilling to man up to do something about it. Such conditions or practices are not conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease; a lack of hygiene.

People that fight legal battles to avoid taking such occasional tests demonstrating minimal physical fitness may as well sue for the right to avoid using dental floss.

This can be done by people in their 80s and 90s:
http://startingstrength.com/training/modifying-the-program-for-geezers

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