Background: In naval personnel, health status and physical fitness may be affected by work in confined spaces, stressful events, mission fulfillment, and long periods of time away from home on board ship. The aircraft carrier "H.T.M.S. Chakrinaruebet" is the flagship of the Royal Thai Navy, supported by 6 divisions that operate with personnel of various professions with varied skills, ages, ranks and official duties. Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the health of the population studied in order to achieve the ultimate goal of the Royal Thai Navy: "combat readiness" of all forces. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study using data from annual medical examinations of crew members as stipulated in the decree of the Naval Medical Department's budget for the fiscal year 2009 Nov to 2010 Oct. We analyzed the following health status variables: impaired fasting blood glucose, impaired renal function tests, high uric acid, dyslipidemia, abnormal liver function tests, hypertension, abnormal urine examination, abnormal chest radiography, abnormal electrocardiography, anemia, overweight, obesity, morbid obesity, and high waist circumference. To evaluate physical capacity we measured: push-up, sit-up and oxygen consumption from running 2.4 kilometres. Results: The mean age of the studied population is 31.44 years (SD= 7.937). The mean BMI is 23.51 kg/m2 (SD= 2.879). From the information gathered on health status, three prevalent underlying conditions were dyslipidemia (52.1% valid only for the group =or>35 years old), overweight (27.6%) and hypertension (14.7%). Results of physical fitness tests show that on Push-Up, 39.9% of the group demonstrated a "very good" performance. Conclusions: Outdoor activities which can help to improve overall physical fitness should be recommended while the naval personnel are in dock. Indoor activities such as gym and physical training are deemed more suitable during sea missions however. The health status of Royal Thai Naval aircraft carrier personnel is similar to that of the general naval officers with slightly poorer levels in certain parameters such as overweight and dyslipidemia. Keywords: Health Status, Physical Fitness, Naval Medicine, Thailand.
Medicina Maritima, 2011, Vol 11, Issue 1, p. 61-72
Maritime; Health Status; Physical Fitness; Naval Medicine; Thailand