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Table 4 Results of physical performance tests for fighter pilots (FP), helicopter pilots (HP) and rear crew (RC) (n = 73)

From: Cervico-thoracic pain and associated impairments in air force personnel: a cross-sectional study

  FP HP RC   
Movement control a (n = 36)   (n = 18)   (n = 19)   p-value
 Neck flexion in sitting
  Controlled 53   33   42   0.381
  Uncontrolled 47   67   58   
 Neck extension in sitting
  Controlled 42   28   21   0.262
  Uncontrolled 58   72   79   
 Neck rotation left in sitting
  Controlled 58   61   26   0.046
  Uncontrolled 42   39   74   
 Neck rotation right in sitting
  Controlled 50   39   26   0.231
  Uncontrolled 50   61   74   
 Neck flexion in supine
  Controlled 26   12   8   0.083
  Uncontrolled 10   6   11   
 Chest lift
  Controlled 56   56   53   0.828
  Uncontrolled 44   44   47   
 Pelvic tilt
  Controlled 64   44   42   0.207
  Uncontrolled 36   56   58   
 Forward lean
  Controlled 86d   78e   37d, e   0.000
Uncontrolled 14   22   63   
Range of motion (degrees) b
 Flexion 56.7 8.6 55.4 10.6 58.8 11.2 0.564
 Extension 68.8 11.7 63.0 11.5 63.7 13.1 0.113
 Rotation left 67.8 9.2 69.7 9.4 65.3 8.7 0.292
 Rotation right 63.9 7.7 62.0 7.9 59.3 7.9 0.089
 Lateral flexion left 40.2 7.5 38.4 5.0 34.7 7.6 0.027
 Lateral flexion right 40.3d, f 6.1 36.2f 5.1 33.4d 5.8 0.000
Isometric strength and endurance c
 Flexor (Nm) 28.6 10.2 24.9 6.3 24.4 8.7 0.026
 Extensor (Nm) 41.8 11.6 41.7 10.6 36.8 3.4 0.091
 Flexor (s) 54.0 19.0 50.0 26.0 58.0 21.0 0.688
 Extensor (s) 92.3 36.4 100.4 33.0 120.6 36.8 0.065
  1. a: Data for movement control is presented in percentages with the Chi-square test
  2. b: Data for range of motion is presented in mean (SD) with one-way ANOVA.
  3. c: Data for strength and endurance are presented in median (interquartile range) with Kruskal-Wallis test. P-values in bold represent significant difference between FP, HP and RC with Bonferroni adjustment (p = 0.05/3). Post-hoc analysis: d = p < 0.017 between FP and RC. e = p < 0.017 between HP and RC. f = p < 0.017 between FP and HP. Missing data for strength and endurance; FP: n = 3 and n = 5 for flexor and extensor tests, respectively; HP: n = 5 and n = 6 for flexor and extensor tests, respectively; RC: n = 8 for both flexor and extensor tests. Nm = Newton meters, s = seconds