Firefighters and police have different physical job requirements and selection processes. Firefighters have on-duty exercise time and police do not. This could affect body composition and strength. The purpose of this investigation was to compare body composition and bench press strength between firefighters and police officers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg departments. Current 2006 fitness records were analyzed to compare firefighters and police (N = 2330). Variables included: gender, age, body mass, percent body-fat, fat mass, lean mass, bench press strength, bench press/lean mass, bench press/body mass, and percent that were obese. Significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences were found between male firefighters and police in age (37.7 vs. 36.9 yrs), body mass (91.5 vs. 93.2 kg), percent body-fat (17.8% vs.18.5%), fat mass (16.9 vs. 18.0 kg), bench press strength (93.4 vs. 96.3 kg), bench press/body mass (1.03 vs.1.05) and percent that were obese (10% vs.17%), respectively. Significant differences between female firefighters and police were found in age (42.4 vs. 37.4 yrs), body mass (77.5 vs. 71.8 kg), lean mass (54.4 vs. 51.2 kg), bench press strength (52.3 vs. 43.9 kg), bench press/lean mass (0.99 vs. 0.86) and bench press/body mass (0.69 vs. 0.62), respectively. Male police were younger, weighed more, had higher percent body fat, higher percent of obesity, and had greater upper body strength than firefighters. Female police were younger, weighed less, had less lean mass and less upper body strength than their firefighter counterparts. Contributing factors might include pre-employment selection, recruit training, in-service physical fitness testing, and counseling provided by departments.
Boyce‡, Robert W.; Ciulla*, Satya; Jones‡, Glenn R.; Boone‡, Edward L.; Elliott‡, Steven M.; and Combs‡, Clarice S.
"Muscular Strength and Body Composition Comparison Between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fire and Police Departments,"
International Journal of Exercise Science:
3, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol1/iss3/5