Introduction: The occupational task requirements of the tactical athlete (e.g. military personnel, firefighters and police officers) impose significant physiological stressors in diverse and challenging environments. Poor performance of these tasks has the potential to cause injuries and reduce the chance of mission success; both of which impact on the ability of the tactical athlete to maintain optimal performance across the lifespan. Poor movement quality has already been associated with increasing the potential for injury. What is not yet known is whether poor movement quality is associated with occupational task performance. This association is of importance as the tactical athlete is often required to carry external loads which reduce the movement quality of the carrier and have been known to cause injuries in this population. On this basis, the aim of this study was to determine whether poor movement patterns impact on the tactical athlete’s occupational performance.
Methods: A cohort of 53 volunteers was randomly selected from a pool of 173 police recruits attending basic recruit training. The Functional Movement Screen was used to assess movement quality and four occupational measures (marksmanship, baton strikes, defensive tactics and tactical options) were completed as a measure of typical police occupational tasks.
Results: Functional Movement Screen scores ranged from 8 to 18 points (mean = 13.96 ± 1.99 points). Of the occupational measures, 11% failed the marksmanship and baton strike assessments, 21% failed defensive tactics and 36% failed the tactical options assessment. Only the tactical options assessment approached a significant difference (p = 0.077) between movement performance and occupational task scores for passing and failing recruits. Similar results were found between Functional Movement Screen scores when graded as pass (14+) or fail (<14) and the occupational measures with the tactical options measure being the only measure to approach significance (p = 0.057).
Discussion: The results of this study suggest that a relationship between a police recruit’s quality of movement patterns and choice of tactical options may exist. Conversely, no significant differences were found in quality of movement and recruit passing or failing marksmanship, defence tactics and baton strikes assessments, although this may be due to the low overall numbers of training failures in these occupational tasks.
|Publication status||Published - 15 Oct 2014|
|Event||Be Active Conference 2014 - National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia|
Duration: 15 Oct 2014 → 18 Oct 2014
|Conference||Be Active Conference 2014|
|Period||15/10/14 → 18/10/14|
|Other||"be active 2014" will incorporate the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport (ACSMS), the National Physical Activity Conference (NPAC), and the National Sports Injury Prevention Conference (NSIPC).|