Health and wellness of Royal Navy personnel : trial of a health & wellness programme for the Royal New Zealand Navy : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Sport and Exercise in Endorsement of Exercise Prescription and Training, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Introduction: It is essential for the Royal New Zealand Navy to ensure that all personnel are physically fit and maintain optimal physiological health for deployability. While access to health care and training facilities is provided, physiological health and physical fitness standard is up to the individual. This can potentially lead to sub-optimal health and wellness in military personnel. Therefore, the aim of this research is to trial a basic health and fitness screening programme among Royal New Zealand Navy personnel and compare results with healthy population data to ascertain any health and fitness issues that need to be addressed to ensure deployability of staff. Methods: 91 male and female Royal New Zealand Navy participants (mean age of 34 years, 68.1% = male, 31.8% = female) volunteered for this study. Data was collected over two phases within the same day (between 0600 and 1500 hours). Phase one, participants arrived in a fasted state (12 hours) and blood cholesterol/glucose, resting heart rate and blood pressure, was obtained. On completion participants consumed breakfast. Phase two involved answering two questionnaires; (the AHA/ACSM health and fitness pre-participation screening questionnaire for general health and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire to measure sleep status over the past four weeks); and collection of anthropometric data (weight; height; waist circumference; hip circumference and right arm/leg length). Final assessment procedures involved the YMCA estimated VO2max test, Y-Balance and sit and reach test. Statistical analysis: All data was first assessed for normal distribution and analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 25. Data was grouped by age and/or gender and analysed using independent t-tests for first level comparisons, and univariate analyses for multi-level comparisons. Significance was set at p=0.05. Results: Overall, results show that high density lipoprotein, estimated VO2max, body mass index, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the AHA/ACSM health and fitness pre-participation screening questionnaire were near pre-published general population normal values. Analysis on age and gender showed that overall, females were healthier than males but had lower VO2max, and the <35 year age group performed better overall than the ≥35 year age group. Conclusion: Those aged <35 years and who are female presented with less risk factors for cardiovascular disease than males and those aged ≥35 years, as a whole. Recommendations for a screening programme is provided.
Figure 1 (=Greary et al., 2002 Fig 1) was removed for copyright reasons.
New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Navy, Officials and employees, Sailors, Health and hygiene, Physical fitness