Leg power as an indicator for risk of injury or illness in police recruits

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Samantha Peterson, Michael Stierli, Benjamin Hinton

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Question: Does leg power, as measured by a vertical jump, predict injury
and illness risk in a police population?
Design: Retrospective cohort study design.
Participants: New South Wales Police recruits (n=1021) undergoing a basic
police recruit training course.
Intervention A basic police recruit training course of 12 week duration.
Outcome Measures: Vertical Jump (VJ) height and formally reported
illness and injuries.
Results: 15% of participants (n=158, mean±SD VJ =42.03±7.35cm)
reported an injury, 30% (n=296, VJ =41.88±7.48cm) an illness, and 38%
(n=390, VJ =42.07±7.38cm) an illness and/or injury. The mean VJ heights
for each of these groups was significantly lower (p<.005) than those who
did not suffer an injury (VJ =44.00±7.56cm), illness (VJ =44.44±7.47cm)
or a combination of either (VJ =44.69±7.50cm). Correlations between VJ
height and prevalence of illness and injury were low (r=- 0.16 and -0.09,
respectively) but significant (p<.005), with VJ height accounting for 2.6%
and 0.8% of the variance in injury and illness rates, respectively.
Conclusion: Police recruits with lower VJ height are at a significantly
greater risk of suffering an injury or illness during police basic
recruit training.
Key Practice Points:
• Leg power is a useful predictor of injury and illness risk in recruits
undergoing police training and potentially in other tactical populations.
• Increasing leg power in new recruits about to undergo police training my
reduce their risk of injury or illness.
• Further research is required to assess the extent to which leg power is
causal in these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
EventThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015: Connect - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 3 Oct 20156 Oct 2015
Conference number: 2015


ConferenceThe Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleAPA
CityGold Coast
Internet address


Cite this

Orr, R. M., Pope, R. R., Peterson, S., Stierli, M., & Hinton, B. (2015). Leg power as an indicator for risk of injury or illness in police recruits. The Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2015, Gold Coast, Australia.