Finnish Conscripts’ Fitness Conditions ‘Worse Than Ever Before’

In the past few decades, the average Finnish draftee gained entire seven kilograms, while losing muscle strength and stamina.

Fitness tests, continually used by the Finnish Armed Forces, indicate that overall conditions have deteriorated to a previously unseen level, with weight rising and muscle strength plummeting, national broadcaster Yle reported, calling the situation “worse than ever before”.

Finland has been using the so-called Cooper Test, devised by Kenneth Cooper for the US military in 1968, since 1975 and a muscle test of its own since 1983. This makes it possible to compare how each year’s classes of draftees fare against each other.

The results show that today’s conscripts are far less fit when compared with their fathers. The recent tests indicate that only one-third of the conscripts are fit.

In 1975, only 8 percent achieved weak results, while over 50 percent fared well or excellent. In 2017, by contrast, wholly 28 percent achieved a weak result, whereas only 32 percent complied with the demands or exceeded them.

In the Cooper Test, where the testees are asked to run as much as they can for 12 minutes, an average Finnish draftee covered 2,661 metres. In 2017, this figure sank to 2,402, with over 25 percent faring poorly.

In 2015, the average Finnish conscript jumped 222 centimeters and did 32 push-ups and 37 sit-ups in one minute. However, the Finnish Armed Forces are more worried by the spread than the drop in average results.

“The average doesn’t…

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