To determine the relationship between metabolic fitness test scores and performance in police occupational tasks.
Retrospective data from 106 law enforcement officers who completed two metabolic fitness assessments [anaerobic: a 20-m (10-m and 20-m splits) sprint, aerobic: 20 m Multi-Stage Fitness Test (20 m-MSFT)] and three routine occupational tasks [1.22 m Fence jump (FJ), 8.5 m Victim Drag (VD with 102.3 kg) and “Get-up” (GU)] were collected. A Person’s correlation coefficient and a standard multiple regression were used to assess the relationship between and predictive ability of, respectively, the fitness tests scores and performance on occupational tasks.
There was a significant positive correlation between the 10-m sprint scores and FJ (r = 0.524, P < 0.001), VD (r = 0.528, P < 0.001) and GU (r = 0.486, P < 0.001). Similarly, the 20-m sprint scores were significantly and moderately correlated with FJ (r = 0.573, P < 0.001), VD (r = 0.603, P < 0.001) and GU (r = 0.533, P < 0.001). These anaerobic tests’ scores predicted approximately 40% of the performance in the occupational tasks analysed. The MSFT fitness assessment had a small, albeit significant negative correlation with the three tasks: FJ (r = − 0.360, P < 0.001), VD (r = − 0.266, P = 0.012) and GU (r = − 0.375, P < 0.001).
High levels of metabolic fitness correlated with faster performance in police officer occupational tasks, particularly ones of an anaerobic nature (i.e. the maximal sprint tests). In addition to typical aerobic fitness conditioning, anaerobic fitness conditioning could be vital for optimal performance in physically demanding tasks required of police officer