Status of police officers with regard to selected cardio-respiratory and body compositional fitness variables

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Abstract

STAMFORD, BRYANT A., ARTHUR WELTMAN, ROBERT J. MOFFATT and CHARLES FULCO. Status of police officers with regard to selected cardio-respiratory and body compositional fitness variables. Med. Sci. Sports. Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 294-297, 1978.—Physical performance and body composition characteristics of members (n = 75) and recruits (n = 61) of the Louisville Police Department (total n = 136) were assessed. Members were randomly selected males and ranged in age from 20 to 55 years and were ranked from the newest inductee through and including the Chief of Police. Members between the ages of 20 and 29 years assigned to active duty possessed average cardio-respiratory fitness (V̇o2max). With age, cardio-respiratory fitness decreased and body weight and body fatness progressively increased. Male and female recruits entering basic training also demonstrated average cardio-respiratory fitness. Significant (P < .05) increases for males and females in V̇o2max and decreases in body fatness (males) were found following 4 months of physically rigorous recruit training. Fifteen of the male recruits who completed training were retested following 1 year of active duty. During active duty, physical activity involvement was limited to job requirements with no additional physical training imposed. Cardio-respiratory fitness and body fatness reverted to pre-training levels. It was concluded that the physical demands associated with police work are too low to permit maintenance of physical fitness.

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