Battery fitness testing in law enforcement: A critical review of the literature

Mohammad M Zulfiqar, Jennifer Wooland, Ben Schram, Jay J. Dawes, Robert Lockie, Rob Marc Orr

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Abstract

Police trainees undergoing training to prepare them for the occupational demands of policing are often subjected to fitness testing. The aim of this review was to critically appraise research studies employing police fitness tests. Method: A comprehensive search of four databases (PubMed, EMBASE, and Ebscohost [CINAHL and SportDiscus]) was conducted by two authors independently. After duplicate articles were removed, articles that did not meet the pre-determined inclusion criteria and met the exclusion criteria were removed. The remaining studies were critically appraised by two authors independently using a Downs and Black Checklist. Cohen’s Kappa coefficient was used to measure the level of agreement between appraisers and calculated by a third author. The grading system proposed by Kennelly was used to grade the methodological quality of the studies. Results: From an initial 7384 identified studies, including four from additional sources, 11 studies met the criteria for review. The mean critical appraisal score for the articles was 74.36 (± 1.48%) being considered ‘good’ quality and a ‘substantial’ level of agreement was found between the two appraisers (k = 0.75). The most common measures assessed were muscle endurance (push-ups and sit-ups) and aerobic capacity (running), with the least common measure being agility. Assessments of push-ups and the 2.4-km (1.5-mile) run had the strongest correlations to law enforcement academy graduation across the studies. Grip strength may predict occupational performance (marksmanship) as well as longevity. Conclusion: The push-up and 2.4 km (1.5-mile) run fitness tests were the most popular fitness assessments and had the strongest positive correlation to law enforcement academy graduation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613 - 632
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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