A box lift and place assessment is related to performance of several military manual handling tasks

Greg L. Carstairs, Daniel J. Ham, Robert J. Savage, Stuart A. Best, Benjamin Beck, Timothy L.A. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Soldiers undergo regular physical testing to assess their functional capacity. However, current physical tests, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, do not necessarily assess job-specific physical capability. This article assesses the utility of generic predictive tests and a task-related predictive test in predicting performance against four job-critical military manual handling tasks. The box lift and place test was found to be the superior predictor in performance of four job tasks; a pack lift and place (R2 = 0.76), artillery gunner loading simulation (R2 = 0.36), bombing up an M1 tank simulation, (R2 = 0.47) and a bridge building simulation (R2 = 0.63). Pull-ups and push-ups were poor predictors of performance in the majority of job tasks. Although the box lift and place had a larger correlation with the artillery gunner loading task than the generic assessment, it only accounted for 36% of the variance, indicating that a task simulation may be more appropriate to assess soldiers’ capacity to perform this job task. These results support the use of a box lift and place rather than generic fitness tests for the evaluation of military manual handling tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-264
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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