Associations between anthropometric characteristics and physical performance in male law enforcement officers: A retrospective cohort study

James Jay Dawes, Robin Marc Orr*, Claire Louise Siekaniec, Andrea Annie Vanderwoude, Rodney Pope

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Police officers are often required to undertake physically demanding tasks, like lifting, dragging and pursuing a suspect. Therefore, physical performance is a key requirement. Methods: Retrospective data for 76 male police officers (mean age = 39.42 ± 8.41 years; mean weight = 84.21 ± 12.91 kg) was obtained. Data included anthropometric (skinfolds, estimated percentage body fat, lean body mass and fat mass) and physical performance (1 Repetition Maximum Bench Press, 1-min sit-ups, 1-min push-ups, vertical jump, 300 m run, 1.5 mile run) measures and correlations between anthropometric measurement and fitness score were obtained. 

Results: Estimated percentage body fat was significantly (p ≤ .001) and negatively correlated with all performance measures, except sit-ups and 300 m and 1.5 mile run performance. Estimated lean body mass was significantly and positively (p ≤ .001) correlated with push-ups, bench press and vertical jump measures, while increasing estimated fat mass was significantly (p ≤ .001) associated with reduced performance on sit-up, vertical jump, 1.5 mile run and estimated maximal voluntary oxygen uptake. 

Conclusions: A targeted approach, going beyond just decreasing percentage body fat to also selectively increasing lean mass, should be applied for optimal improvement in physical fitness performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalAnnals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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