Public Works: Custodian



The job description physical attributes are consistent with that of a fairly sedentary occupation.  The most physically demanding task is that of heavy lifting up to 50 lbs, cleaning restrooms, and flooring polishers and carpets vacuuming, and arrange furniture and equipment

The employee does not need high levels of fitness but needs to possess good health.  In terms of a physical assessment there would need to be evidence of an adequate level of fitness in the various components including strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, strength and body composition.

The assessment will involve the candidate to achieve a score of not lower than one standard deviation from the population norm when evaluating the major components of fitness, namely; Cardiorespiratory, Flexibility and Strength.  Since the job could entail older candidates commensurate with the experience required for the position, comparisons made to similar population norms is appropriate. 

In terms of population norms, previous research indicate that losses in strength to weight ratio and aerobic capacity to weight ratio become attenuated at approximately .5 standard deviations below the norm and below.  

Each individual fitness component must exceed .50 GPA, and the The total fitness of the candidate should attain an overall grade point average of over 1.50 GPA, or within one-half of a standards deviation from the average person, (equivalent to the 30th percentile or better).  Theoretically, this would consist of a fail rate of the bottom 30 out of 100 candidates from the reference subject population assessed. The grades will be standardized for age, weight, sex and race.


The physical assessment will take place by the Exercise Science Center of Fircrest, Washington.  The assessment will evaluate three fitness components:  Cardiorespiratory, Flexibility and Strength.  Each component of fitness will attain a grade from A to F, where A=4.00, B=3.00, C=2.00, D=1.00, and F=0.00, to better help the candidate identify personal strengths and weaknesses.

Cardiorespiratory will comprise 40% of the candidate’s total Grade Point Average.

  1. The subject’s body composition will be computed using population specific regression equations.  A skinfold caliper will be used by a highly skilled exercise physiologist to determine your percentage of body fat.
  2. An aerobic assessment will be performed on a bicycle ergometer at 50 RPM for three stages of two minutes each.  At the end of the last workload, the candidate’s heart rate and workload will be recorded.  Prediction of oxygen uptake will be allometrically scaled to the subject’s body weight, sex and age.  The score obtained has a direct relationship to the work performed.
  3. A pulmonary function examination will be performed to identify potential issues with restrictive or obstructive lung disease.  The assessment will be performed by a licensed pulmonary function technologist, and will examine the size of the lungs, (Forced Vital Capacity), and the size of the airways, (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1.0 second).

Flexibility: will comprise 20% of the candidate’s total Grade Point Average. 

The assessment will be performed by a highly skilled exercise physiologist, using a Leighton’s Flexometer which measuring degrees of movement.  Areas to be measured will include:  1) lower back and hamstrings, 2) upper back, 3) lateral (side to side) flexibility of the spine, 4) hips, and 5) shoulders.  Each individual range of motion will be weighted during scoring equally.

Strength:  will comprise 40% of the subject’s total Grade Point Average. 

The final component will assess strength of large muscle groups, involving multi-joint movements. Exercise to be evaluated will be:  Bench Press, Squat, Pulldown, and Arm Curl.  For each exercise the candidate will be scored on an absolute scale, (compared to a person of your age and sex), and on a relative scale, (what percentage of your body weight lifted).

Total Grade Point Average

Cardiorespiratory:                                                                                  (40%)  

                  Body Fat                                                   40%

                  Bicycle Assessment                                50%

                  Pulmonary Function                            10%

Flexibility:                                                                                                      (20%)

                  Hip Extension / Flexion                     20%       

                  Trunk Extension / Flexion                20%

                  Lateral Flexion / Extension              20%

                  Hip Adduction / Abduction              20%

                  Shoulder Flexion / Extension         20%

Strength: (5 Repetition Max)                                                             (40%)

                  Bench Press                                            25%

                  Squat                                                        25%

                  Pulldown                                                 25%

                  Arm Curl                                                  25%

Total Fitness GPA                                            >1.50 GPA             (100%)                 

.*A Total Fitness GPA of 1.50 or above tells the employer that this candidate’s fitness is above the 30th percentile for a healthy American of that age and sex.  A breakdown of the individual components of Cardiorespiratory, Flexibility, and Strength components lets the employer know stronger areas (i.e. >3.00 GPA), or areas of concern, (i.e. <1.00 GPA).