The U.S. Navy currently employs sit-ups as part of its semi-annual physical fitness in order to assess the abdominal muscular endurance of service-members. However, there is speculation that sit-up performance may be associated with anthropometric proportions thereby affording certain service-members with a biomechanical advantage. To test this theory, anthropometric measurements were taken at various sites (i.e., humerus, torso, femur, and tibia) across a convenience sample of 69 participants (37 male / 32 female), to include student, active duty, and retired military personnel from the United States Naval Academy. Humerus length (r = .297), tibia length (r = .385) and sex (r = .314) were all found to be moderately correlated with sit-up performance. These findings, coupled with well- documented concerns of the sit-ups in terms of safety and relevance in the literature, make a compelling argument for the identification and implementation of other potential field tests to assess abdominal muscular endurance.
Keywords: Military physical fitness test, Sit up test, Anthropometric measurements