Almost every second young Dane called up to attend the conscription examination, traditionally known in Denmark as 'session', are deemed unfit for duty by the military medical examination.
New figures from the Defence showed that 46.6 percent potential draftees are found to be unfit for military service. In comparison, about 33 percent were found unfit for duty in 1995.
”We've noticed that the physical condition of young people is deteriorating too much and that's probably down to changing lifestyles,” Svend Astrup, a co-ordinating 'session' doctor, told DR Nyheder.
”The young people have become more immobile and are sitting more in front of their computers and not exercising enough.”
Fewer recruits needed
However, there are also other reasons for the low number of accepted recruits. The military has become better at weeding out the recruits who could present a problem down the line, according to Morten Runberg, the head of the recruitment centre at Antvorskov Barracks in Slagelse.
”They've not just become worse. We've experienced that we've become better at snagging those who risk getting injuries,” Runberg told DR Nyheder.
”And the doctors have become better at finding better physical injuries and psychological illnesses, such as ADHD. And the demands for recruits are continually adapted – the recruits have never been as strong as they are today.”
The current number of draftees needed is at an all-time low. Looking ahead to 2020, just 4,200 new recruits per year are needed.