Aim: To determine relationships between fitness measures and change of direction speed in female police officers with and without occupational loads.
Design: A retrospective cohort study.
Method: Retrospective data were provided for 27 female police officers (age=32.19±5.09 yrs: height=162.78±5.01 cm: mass=71.31±13.42 kg) and included fitness measures of: power (standing long jump [SLJ]), muscle endurance (push-ups [PU, sit-ups [SU]), aerobic capacity (est. VO2max), and change of direction speed (CODS; Illinois agility test). The CODS test was performed without and with occupational load (10 kg load). Paired samples t-tests (between-load conditions) and Pearson’s correlations (relationships
between measures) were performed.
Results: CODS was significantly slower when loaded (unloaded=~23.17s: loaded=~24.14s, p<.001) with a strong, significant relationship between load conditions (r=.956, p<.001). Moderate-to-strong, significant 212 relationships were found between all fitness measures ranging from VO2max (r=-.448) to SU (r=-.673) in the unloaded condition, with the strength of these relationships increasing in the loaded condition.
Conclusion: While unloaded agility performance was strongly associated with loaded performance, female police officer CODS was significantly reduced when carrying occupational loads. A variety of fitness measures that influence officer CODS performance become of increasing importance when occupational
loads are carried.
Key Practice Points:
• Unloaded CODS performance (as measured by the Illinois agility test) can be used to gauge readiness to perform loaded CODS.
• Lower-body power and trunk endurance become increasingly important when female police officers carry occupational loads, and must be considered when including occupational loads as part of return-to-work programming.
Proposed impact, if any, on the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: The results of this research are likely to have no greater impact on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population above that of the non-Indigenous population