Slowing the path of time: Age-related and normative fitness testing data for police officers from a health and wellness program

Robert Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, J. Jay Dawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of age on the fitness of police officers participating in a health and wellness program. Normative percentile rank data were also produced for each fitness test for each year, considering age and sex. Archival data from 2018 (170 men and 39 women) and 2019 (194 men and 44 women) were analyzed. Data included estimated maximal aerobic capacity (V̇o2max), sit and reach, push-ups, vertical jump (VJ), grip strength, sit-ups, and bench press ratio. The officers in each year were grouped by age: 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, and 50+ years. A univariate analysis of covariance with Bonferroni’s post hoc adjustment determined significant between-group differences. In 2018, the 40–49 and 50+ groups had a lower V̇o2max, lesser sit and reach, VJ, and grip strength, and completed fewer push-ups and sit-ups than the younger groups (p ≤ 0.027). In 2019, the 40–49 and 50+ groups had a lower V̇o2max, lesser sit and reach, VJ, grip strength, and bench press ratio, and completed fewer push-ups than the younger groups (p ≤ 0.034). There were no significant differences between the 20–29 and 30–39 groups. The percentile ranks demonstrated that except for sit and reach, most female officers were placed in the 0–19% ranks. Even for officers participating in a health and wellness program, those 40+ years old tended to have lesser fitness than younger officers. Older officers may have transitioned into roles requiring less physical activity, so should be encouraged to participate in health and wellness programs. The percentile ranks provide comparative data for practitioners and reinforce the need for female and older officers to complete specific fitness training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-756
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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