Singaporeans would be familiar with the Individual Physical Proficiency Test: first introduced in Singapore back in 1967, the IPPT is a standard physical fitness test used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to test the physical fitness of their members.
NSmen typically have to pass their IPPT once a year. If they fail it, they must go for the SAF remedial training.
To ensure that they can pass, there is also the IPT program, a voluntary 10-session program that allows NSmen who fail their IPPT to progressively raise their fitness standards until they are able to pass it.
Earlier last week, SAF has started a trial allowing NSmen to train for their IPPT anywhere in their own time using a new smartphone application called iDAT or the popular fitness tracker FitBit.
FitBit (Image Credit: CNet)
According to TODAY Online, the 100 selected NSmen for the trial can now conduct their own IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT), instead of having to attend sessions at designated locations like the Fitness Conditioning Centres (FCC) at Kranji Camp, Khatib Camp, Bedok Camp and Maju Camp. NSMen can choose to conduct 8 out of 10 of their IPT sessions on their own but the first and last sessions must be done at MINDEF’s fitness conditioning centres.
Fifty of the trial participants will use iDAT, an app developed by the Health Promotion Board, while the rest will use fitness bands by Fitbit. iDAT uses Global Positioning System (GPS) to track the speed and distance covered by the runner. The Fitbit fitness band tracks the number of steps taken by the wearer every 15 minutes, and is supported by an app.
IDAT App Singapore (Image Credit: App Store)
FitBit App (Image Credit: App Store)
The introduction of the iDAT app as well as the FitBit fitness tracker is part of the government’s effort to make IPPT training less of a chore for NSmen, who have to juggle their family and work commitments.
“(It’s) a big mental shift from looking at how to control everything to one that frees up some possibilities where they (NSmen) can do it at their own time. It’s up to them to choose what suits them best,” said Colonel Chua Boon Keat, who heads the Singapore Armed Forces’ National Service Affairs department.
“I think its an interesting proposition. It’s definitely more convenient than travelling all the way back to the camp,” Singapore NSmen Joel Leong, also Head of Marketing at ShopBack, told Vulcan Post.
Bryan Lee Tuck Sing, 3-time Ironman finisher, also commended the new initiative by the government.
“Good. This shows that the army is embracing technology. It certainly helps!”
Featured Image Credit: Newnation