Health and fitness data for police officers within a health and wellness program: Implications for occupational performance and career longevity

Robert Lockie, J. Jay Dawes, Rob Marc Orr

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Abstract

Background: Health and wellness programs can be implemented at police departments. Little research has detailed the characteristics of officers within these programs.

Objective: To analyse the health and fitness data of officers involved in a health and wellness program from 2018-2020, and to profile the officers involved relative to population norms.

Methods: Analysis was conducted on archival data from 633 officers (523 males, 110 females) who participated in a health and wellness program from a large city police department. Data included: body mass; body fat percentage; blood pressure (BP); estimated maximal aerobic capacity; sit-and-reach; push-ups; vertical jump; grip strength; sit-ups; bench press ratio. Data were grouped by year (2018, 2019, 2020), and a univariate ANCOVA with Bonferroni post hoc adjustment determined any significant between-group differences. Individual officer data were also compared to population norms.

Results: The 2020 group had higher systolic BP compared to both other groups, and superior sit-and-reach and grip strength compared to the 2018 group (p < 0.05). Compared to population norms across the 3 years, 74-86% of officers had BP elevated above normal levels. Depending on the fitness component measured most officers (69-98%) were categorised as average or better.

Conclusions: There were few differences between the year groups, although the 2020 officers did have superior sit-and-reach and grip strength. The higher systolic BP from the 2020 group may be indicative of the challenges of the year (pandemic, civil unrest). Officers generally had good profiles relative to population norms. The wellness program appeared to benefit the well-being of officers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1074
Number of pages16
JournalWork
Volume73
Issue number3
Early online date7 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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