The bigger they are: Relationships between body height and mass with the body drag task in Law Enforcement recruits

Robert Lockie, Jay Dawes, Rob Marc Orr, Joseph Dulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

California law enforcement recruits must perform a body drag before they graduate academy. While this task may be challenging for smaller recruits, no research has analyzed height and body mass relationships with the body drag. Data from 643 recruits (542 males, 101 females) who completed the drag in the final weeks of academy were analyzed. The recruits lifted a 74.84-kg, 1.73-m tall dummy and dragged it 9.75 m as quickly as possible. Independent samples t-tests compared the sexes; partial correlations controlling for sex detailed relationships between height and body mass with drag time. Recruits were split into quartile groups (based on sample size) for height and body mass (Group 1: shortest, lightest; Group 4: tallest, heaviest). A one-way MANOVA, with sex as a covariate, and Bonferroni post hoc, compared the groups. Male recruits were taller, heavier, and completed the drag faster than females (p < 0.001). There were small relationships between height (r = -0.255) and body mass (r = -0.211) with drag time. When split into height groups, the shortest recruits (Group 1) completed the drag 23-37% slower than all groups (p ≤ 0.031). When split into body mass groups, the lightest recruits (Group 1) were 23-35% slower than all groups (p ≤ 0.007). Most females (94-96%) were placed in Groups 1 or 2. Height and body mass could influence drag performance. Taller recruits may be able to lift the dummy off the ground, reducing friction, while heavier recruits may produce more force. Female and smaller male recruits should complete strength and power training to mitigate body size limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-584
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022

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