n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Initial assessment of well-being in South African armed services personnel

Volume 18 Number sup-1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


As professionals in law enforcement and defence (armed services) function under high pressure, the maintenance of overall health should be emphasized and closely monitored in training facilities. The aim of this research was to assess current health status and risk factors of the members of three armed service training facilities. This represents the first step in an integrated approach toward health maintenance in this important sector. The sample consisted of 323 members from three different armed service training facilities in South Africa. The subjects completed a questionnaire on health history and coping with stress. Heart health, body composition, general fitness and co-ordination were then examined. The mean age of the sample was 38.08 years (SD=8.81). The mean blood pressure readings were pre-hypertensive (Systolic 127.4mmHg, SD=16.67; Diastolic 82.74mmHg, SD=10.94) and the mean BMI was in the overweight category (27.97kg/m2, SD=8.81). The percentage (more than 40%) of subjects that require physical fitness intervention reflects an urgent need for effective implementation of wellness programmes in this sector.

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