Effects of Occupational Load on the Acceleration, Change of Direction Speed, and Anaerobic Power of Police Officers

Filip Kukić*, Radivoje Janković, J. Jay Dawes, Robin Orr, Nenad Koropanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Kukić, F, Janković, R, Dawes, JJ, Orr, R, and Koropanovski, N. Effects of occupational load on the acceleration, change of direction speed, and anaerobic power of police officers. J Strength Cond Res 37(6): 1237-1243, 2023 - Police officers engage in movements such as foot pursuits, sudden directional changes, or prolonged sprinting while wearing occupational loads (including body armor, baton, radio, handcuffs, and sidearm). This study investigated the effects of incrementally heavier loads carried by police students on their physical performance. Police students (n = 63; male n = 39 male and 24 female students) performed an acceleration over a 10-m distance (Acc10m), Illinois agility test (IAT), and 300-yard shuttle run test (ShR300y) without load, with a 5-kg load (handgun, spare empty magazine, baton, and handcuffs), and with a 10-kg load (loaded vest). The effects of different load conditions were investigated for both sexes using a repeated-measure analysis of variance and Cohen's effect size. Female students carried relatively heavier loads and were slower than male students in Acc10m, IAT, and ShR300y. Load significantly (p < 0.001) impaired the performance in Acc10m, IAT, and ShR300yin both sexes, but the effects were greater (p < 0.001) among female police students. A load as little as 5 kg was sufficient to reduce Acc10m, IAT, and ShR300yamong police students. Increasing the load to 10 kg (i.e., wearing the body armor) did not significantly affect Acc10mand IAT among male students, but it did affect Acc10mand IAT among female students. Sprint endurance (i.e., ShR300y) was strongly affected by both loads regardless of sex. Strength and conditioning programs should focus on strength, power, and anaerobic endurance to improve performance while carrying occupational loads. Occasional training with loads similar to those at work may further ensure that officers are fit for purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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