A functional movement screen profile of an Australian police force

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Michael Stierli, Benjamin Hinton

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Question: What is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) profile of police
recruits and officers?
Design: Cross-sectional research design.
Participants: Female and male recruits and attested officers of an
Australian police force (♂n=1155, mean (±SD) age=31.34±8.41 years: ♀
n=357, mean age=27.99±8.02 years).
Intervention(s): Qualified Police Physical Training Instructors conducted
FMS testing of participants in their workplace gymnasium.
Outcome Measures: The FMS was selected due to its value as a
predictor of injury risk in tactical populations and its high inter- and intrarater
Results: Significantly higher mean FMS scores were found for recruits
(15.23±2.01 points) when compared to attested officers (14.57±2.96
points; p<.001) and for females (15.24±2.35 points) when compared to
males (14.84±2.55 points, p=.008). A FMS score of ≤14 points, predictive
of higher injury risk, was observed in 43% of male police officers, 41% of
female officers, 36% of male recruits and 33% of female recruits. The
components of poorest performance, being the hurdle step and rotary
stability, correspond to the leading sites of injury in this population, being
knee and back.
Conclusions: Generally, attested police officers have a lower functional
movement capability when compared to recruits, with a greater
percentage scoring ≤14 points on the FMS.
Key Practice Points:
• The FMS is a useful outcome measure for police officers.
• FMS movements with poorest performance correspond to injuries
typically sustained in a police population.
• Specific conditioning programs to improve performance in movements
identified with poorer performance may reduce injuries in police officers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
EventThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015: Connect - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20156 Oct 2015
Conference number: 2015


ConferenceThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleAPA
CityGold Coast
Internet address


Cite this

Orr, R. M., Pope, R. R., Stierli, M., & Hinton, B. (2015). A functional movement screen profile of an Australian police force. The Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia.