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Air Force delays fitness testing until January

Sept. 16 (UPI) — The Air Force said Wednesday it plans to resume fitness testing for service members in January after putting the assessments on pause in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The testing, which includes a 1.5-mile run, 1 minute of pushups and 1 minute of sit-ups, was delayed from October to Jan. 1. The assessments usually include waist, height and weight measurements as well, but is delaying those until further notice.

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

The testing was originally set to take place in March, but was delayed until June and then again until Oct. 1 to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The test, officially the U.S. Air Force Basic Military Training Physical Fitness Test, is a three-event physical performance test of endurance, used to measure physical strength, abilities and cardio-respiratory fitness.

“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, childcare 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 added. “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.”

The Air Force said all testing will take place depending on social distancing protocols put in place by local public health officials.

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