Department of the Air Force pushes fitness testing to Jan. 1

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  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Official physical fitness assessments across the Department of the Air Force will resume Jan. 1, 2021, officials announced Sept. 16.

To continue minimizing close contact among personnel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensure units and personnel are fully ready to resume, testing has been delayed from October to January, and testing in January will move forward without obtaining waist, height and weight measurements.

“We know people are staying fit regardless, but we want to give our Airmen enough time to prepare,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

Beginning Jan. 1, uniformed members are expected to test on the 1.5 mile run, 1 minute of push-ups and 1 minute of sit-ups. The body composition component (abdominal circumference), height and weight measurements are postponed until further notice. All members, including those with abdominal circumference exemptions, will receive maximum points for the AC component as part of their official score.

“This is an unprecedented situation and we’ve put a lot of work into assessing how and when we could safely resume fitness testing across the force,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “People have been juggling work, child-care issues, homeschooling, family separations, isolation, etc., and we know it’s been more challenging to maintain fitness. This delay gives our folks extra time to prepare for January, while also ensuring units have more time to implement additional COVID precautions.”

“We’re also aware our resumption occurs right after the annual holiday season that can be challenging for people’s fitness,” Kelly said. “Hopefully this change removes some of the stress caused by the waist measurement, and gives us all a chance to start our New Year’s readiness and fitness resolutions on the right foot.”

Fitness assessment due dates in 2021 will primarily depend on the date and score of the last official test. Airmen and Space Professionals may determine their next fitness assessment due date by visiting the Official Physical Assessment Due Date Matrix on myPers.

“This transition requires a careful and systematic approach,” Kelly said. “Our goal is to begin testing where it makes sense, but also give commanders the needed tools and flexibility to make decisions that make sense for their locations and their people.”

Fitness assessment cells, fitness center staff, physical training leaders and members performing fitness assessments will adhere to physical distancing protocols and other local precautions as determined by installation commanders. Commanders may delay official fitness assessments beyond Jan. 1, 2021, based on the recommendation of local public health officials, the continuation of closed fitness centers and extended state-wide restriction of movement and gatherings.

“We’re also taking advantage of this additional time to look at the long-term plan for the abdominal circumference component,” Kelly said. “We’re in discussion with our medical counterparts to determine the right place for the waist measurement, whether it be part of an annual health assessment or elsewhere. This is a great opportunity to make lasting changes that will improve our fitness culture.”

For more information, Airmen and Space Professionals should contact their fitness assessment cells and visit the COVID-19 Fitness Guidance page on myPers.