Relationship between soldiers' body height-weight category and changes in their spinal column kyphotic curvature during a long-term military mission


  • Gudrun Veldre Department of Cardiology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Tatjana Kums Institute of Exrecise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Erik Salum Department of Cardiology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Jaan Eha Department of Cardiology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia



Prolonged physical load can unfavourably influence the human vertebral column. Thirty-six well-trained male soldiers from the Estonian ESTCOY-8 infantry company were examined before and after a 6-month military mission to assess the effect of long-term physical load on soldiers’ spinal column kyphotic curvature in relation to their body build (height-weight category). Body height and weight of the men under study were measured before and after the 6-month-long military mission. BMI was calculated as the body weight (kg) divided by the square of the standing body height (m). Body height-weight category was assessed according to Kaarma et al. 2008. Spine kyphotic curvature in the sagittal plane was recorded using pantography. The results of the study showed that significant kyphotic curvature appeared in half of the well-trained soldiers. Changes in kyphotic curvature were related to the person’s body build (height-weight category). Subjects with a larger body seemed to have greater stability of kyphotic curvature.


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