This Merit Badge is Required
to earn the Eagle Scout Rank
Note that the wording in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet (33286B or 35927) and in Boy Scout Requirements varies slightly, but those variations are insignificant.
We have been informed of an editorial error in the pamphlet, regarding the Strength Tests the Scout must do in requirements 6 and 8. In the text of the pamphlet, and in the current edition of Boy Scout Requirements, the Scout is told to record his performance on all three tests (Sit-ups, Push-ups, and Pull-ups). This was a change made in 2006/2007. In the table on page 72 of the black and white (33286B) pamphlet, and the same table in the color (35927) edition, the table was not changed to reflect the changed requirement, and the Scout is incorrectly directed to do the Sit-ups and either Push-ups or Pull-ups.
For requirement 1a, you can click on one of the
following links to get a copy of the Annual Health and Medical Record (No.
34605). The new form, which may be used immediately, replaces the
former Class 1, 2, and 3 Personal Health and Medical Record Forms, which
will be phased out in 2009. The new form will be required effective January
1, 2010, as well as for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree. The new form is
designed to be filled in and saved on your local computer and then printed
out on either 8 1/2" x 11" or 11" x 17" sheets.
Form 34605 - suitable for printing on 8.5 x 11 sheets
Form 34605 - suitable for printing on 11 x 17 sheets
To view and print the medical examination forms, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be obtained by clicking on the icon below.
NOTE: If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is against the Scout's religious convictions, the requirement does not have to be done if the Scout's parents and the proper religious advisers state in writing that to do so would be against religious convictions. The Scout's parents must also accept full responsibility for anything that might happen because of this exemption.
- Do the following:
- Before completing requirements 2 through 9, have your health-care
practitioner give you a physical examination, using
the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination.
Tell what questions the doctor asked about your health. Tell what
health or medical recommendations the doctor made and report what
you have done in response to the recommendations. Explain the following:
- Why physical exams are important
- Why preventive habits are important in maintaining good health.
- Diseases that can be prevented and how.
- The seven warning signs of cancer.
- The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular fitness in adulthood.
- Have a dental examination . Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.
- Before completing requirements 2 through 9, have your health-care practitioner give you a physical examination, using the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination. Tell what questions the doctor asked about your health. Tell what health or medical recommendations the doctor made and report what you have done in response to the recommendations. Explain the following:
- Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what
personal fitness means to you, including:
- Components of personal fitness
- Reasons for being fit in all components.
- What it means to be mentally healthy
- What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
- What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the areas of healthy social fitness.
- What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
- With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions:
- Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized?
- Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
- Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all food groups?
- Are your body weight and composition what you would like them to be, and do you know how to modify them safely through exercise, diet, and behavior modification?
- Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
- Are you free from habits relating to poor nutrition and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other practices that could be harmful to your health?
- Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
- Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the new day?
- Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its youth activities?
- Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
- Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
- Explain the following about physical fitness:
- The components of physical fitness
- Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
- The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness.
- How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath.
- Explain the following about nutrition:
- The importance of good nutrition
- What good nutrition means to you
- How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
- The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program.
- Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness,
flexibility, muscular strength, and body composition tests as described
in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and
identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.
- Aerobic Fitness Test
Record your performance on one of the following tests:
- Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes
- Run/walk one mile as fast as you can
- Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes
- Flexibility Test
Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in this merit badge pamphlet, make four repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held steady for 15 seconds to qualify. (Remember to keep your knees down.)
- Strength Tests
Record your performance on all three tests.
- Sit-ups. Record the number of sit-ups done correctly in 60 seconds. The sit-ups must be done in the form explained and illustrated in the merit badge pamphlet.
- Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.
- Push-ups. Record the total number of push-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.
- Body Composition Test
Have your parent, counselor, or other adult take and record the following measurements:
- Circumference of the right upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow, with the arm hanging naturally and not flexed.
- Shoulders, with arms hanging by placing the tape two inches below the top of the shoulders around the arms, chest, and back after breath expiration.
- Chest, by placing the tape under the arms and around the chest and back at the nipple line after breath expiration.
- Abdomen circumference at the navel level (relaxed).
- Circumference of the right thigh, midway between the hip and knee, and not flexed.
If possible, have the same person take the measurements whenever you are ready to be remeasured to chart your progress. .
- Aerobic Fitness Test
- Outline a comprehensive 12-week physical fitness program using the results of your fitness tests. Be sure your program incorporates the endurance, intensity, and warm-up guidelines discussed in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Before beginning your exercises, have the program approved by your counselor and parents.
- Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all four tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. Compare and analyze your preprogram and postprogram body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience, and describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.
- Find out about three career opportunities in personal fitness. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this professions. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
BSA Advancement ID#:
Requirements last updated in: 2007
Pamphlet Publication Number: 00000
Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 33286B
Pamphlet Revision Date: 2006
Page updated on: April 22, 2015