Associations between body mass and physical assessments in male custody assistants from a law enforcement agency

Robert G. Lockie, Joe Dulla, Michael Stierli, Karly A. Cesario , Matthew R. Moreno, Ashley M. Bloodgood, Rob Marc Orr, Jay Dawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Custody assistants (CA) are personnel within a law enforcement agency (LEA) responsible for maintaining order in detention facilities. For some LEAs, the only CA requirement is that body mass is within an acceptable, albeit wide, range. This could result in a great body mass range within an academy class. This study involved a retrospective data analysis for 68 male CAs (age = 27.54 ± 6.79 years; body mass = 81.27 ± 15.22 kg), prior to the start of academy to determine the association that body mass has upon physical fitness tests. The tests included: hand grip for the left and right hands; maximum number of pull-ups; number of push-ups and sit-ups in 60 s; and a 201-m and 2.4-km run. The CAs were split into heavier (above the mean) and lighter (below the mean) groups according to body mass. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the groups (p ≤ 0.05), and data was pooled for a correlation analysis between body mass and the performance tests (r; p ≤ 0.05). The heavier CAs had greater grip strength (~52-53 kg vs. ~42-44 kg), but completed fewer pull-ups (~5 vs. 7 pull-ups) and had a slower 2.4-km run (~14:42 min:s vs. 13:07 min:s). A heavier body mass related to greater grip strength (r = 0.44-0.50), fewer pull-ups and push-ups (r = -0.24--0.34), and slower 201-m and 2.4-km run times (r = 0.43-0.44). Heavier CAs should ensure that they can manoeuvre their mass efficiently so that they can complete tasks such as responding to emergencies. Lighter CAs should ensure they have the requisite strength to complete tasks where strength needs to be expressed, such as inmate restraint.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
JournalJournal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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