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Article Title

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BODY COMPOSITION, PHYSICAL FITNESS, AND OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE AMONG POLICE CADETS

Abstract

Hannah Bryan, Kelly Kennedy, Jason M. DeFreitas, Michael A. Trevino, J. Jay Dawes

School of Applied Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Purpose: To determine if significant relationships exist between body composition, physical fitness, and occupational performance among male and female police cadets. Methods: Data from 1,402 police cadets (1,011 males age 28±6.43 years, BF% = 18.8±7.58; 392; females: age = 29±6.95 years, BF% = 25.1±5.91) was collected by the staff from one police training academy located in the Southern United States. Body mass (BM), estimated body fat percentage BF %) (3 skinfold sites), muscular endurance (1 minute pushups, 1 minute sit ups), and lower body power (vertical jump) were measured inside the academy training facility. An occupational specific Physical Ability Test (PAT) consisting of a series of occupational tasks was performed outdoors at the academies training facility. Finally, aerobic fitness was measured by the 2km (1 mile) run and sustained anaerobic power (300-meter run) were all performed outdoors around a premeasured asphalt track. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each measured parameter for the males and females. Pearson’s correlations calculated for each measured parameter for the males and females. Pearson’s correlations calculated relationships between each of the assessments and the PAT were calculated separately for each sex. The significance levels for all correlations were set at p<0.05. Results: Significant relationships were discovered between BF and vertical jump height (r = 0.528 p<.001), 1 minute push ups (r = 0.44, p<.001) and sit up (r = 0.40,p<.001) scores, 300M run (r=0.499,p<.001), and 2.4km run (r = 0.443,p<.001) time and PAT (r = 0.562,p<.001) performance among male cadets. Significant moderate correlation between BF% and 1 minute push ups (r =0.316, p<.001), 300m run (r = 0.499,p<.001), and 2.4km (r = 0.467,p<.001) were observed among female cadets. These results suggest that greater BF may negatively impact measures of muscular fitness and run performance in male and female police cadets. Physical training programs for police cadets should focus on assisting cadets in achieving optimal body composition for improving health, fitness, and occupational performance.

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