Developing the fitness of law enforcement recruits during academy training

Daniel Maupin, Ben Schram, Elisa Canetti, Jay J. Dawes, Robert Lockie, Rob Marc Orr

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Abstract

Law enforcement is an intermittently physically demanding job, interspersed with long periods of sedentary activity. To prepare for the physical demands of the job, law enforcement agencies enlist recruits into academies with a focus on physical training. Often, academies focus on aerobic-based exercise despite anaerobic fitness being strongly correlated to occupational tasks. The objective of this article is to analyze the changes in the fitness of police recruits during academy training. Initial and final fitness test results, encompassing muscular power, strength, endurance as well as aerobic and anaerobic fitness, were measured to analyze changes in fitness. Dependent t-tests showed significant increases (p < 0.05) across all fitness tests, with a trend towards larger increases in aerobic and muscle-endurance-based tests. Recruits from this academy tended to have higher fitness results compared to other academies and were either average or below average compared to age-matched standards in the general population. Physical training should persist for recruits beyond the academy to continue to develop fitness throughout their career. Academies should add a focus on muscular strength and power training as these measures relate to occupational tasks, which may better prepare recruits for demands they will be expected to face in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7944
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2020

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