Saturday, April 28, 2012
The "Old" PFT & Approaching Retirement
The other day I dug into the Air Force's Physical Fitness Test (PFT), and discovered that the test is the most difficult (relative to age) for members in the 30-39 year age bracket, particularly with the run. So I decided to chart out the numbers of the older PFT, to see if age brackets were treated any differently.
The older test differed only slightly from the current test. While it had five year age brackets, instead of ten year brackets, those split brackets only applied to push-ups and sit-ups. The old run was scored using ten year age brackets just like the current test. The abdominal circumference measurement was also like the current test, in that the score was the same across all age brackets. The largest difference with the old test was that it weighted the waist measurement with 30% of the total score, and the run counted for only 50%. The test also differed in that there were no minimum component scores - as long as the member was able to get 75 points, they passed the test.
The old test charts show the current PFT isn't much different than the older one, at least in terms of the standards required of the 30-39 year group, as opposed to those who are retirement eligible in their forties and on up.
The old test push-ups are the exception. There the test evenly distributes benefit for aging, as would be expected if aging was considered to be constant. Sit-ups, however, have a slight aging bias against those approaching retirement, and a huge bias in terms of the run.
The aging bias against the 30-39 year old group is not something that started with the current PFT scoring system.