OBJECTIVE Cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors are already common in the young adult population. The prevalence of obesity increases. More and more employees are not able to stand the physical demands at the workplace. In the course of increasing the statutory retirement age ("retirement with 67") more knowledge about the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and their influence on the physical fitness is necessary for a wise and goal-oriented primary prevention. METHODS A retrospective analysis of survey examinations from young German soldiers in terms of prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and their physical fitness was undertaken. The causes for rejection were analysed. RESULTS In the group of 646 test persons (in average 23.4 years old) there were large rates of people with overweight (37.9%) and obesity (10.8%). Smoking (55.6%), hypercholesteremia (18.6%) and hypertriglyceridemia (13.3%) were also common. Apparent diseases were rare. With an increasing number of cardiovascular risk factors, the physical fitness was significantly lower. High liver enzymes, obesity and lacking physical fitness were reasons for rejection. CONCLUSION Already in this young adult collective cardiovascular risk factors are widely spread. This reduces the physical fitness directly or indirectly. A goal-oriented primary prevention is already necessary in this collective of young employees to avoid later limitations in ability to work.