Marcel Lopes dos Santos1, Kelly Kennedy2, Filip Kukić3, Brent A. Alvar4, Robert G. Lockie5, J. Jay Dawes1

1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma; 2Fit-to-Enforce, Miami, Florida; 3Police Sports Education Center, Abu Dhabi; 4Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California; 5California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California

Attaining and maintaining an adequate level of physical fitness is essential for law enforcement officers. However, agencies often have logistical challenges with performing body composition assessments to determine the relationships of both body fat percentage (BF%) and body mass index (BMI) on health, fitness and occupational performance. PURPOSE: To determine if significant relationships exist between body composition, physical fitness, and occupational performance among male and female police cadets. METHODS: Archived data from 1,009 police cadets (724 males: age= 28.2±6.4. yrs, ht= 172.8±9.5 cm, BM= 82.8±16 kg BMI= 27.6±4.1 kg/m2; 285 females: age= 29±6.7 yrs, ht= 173.5±9.4 cm, BM= 85.3±16.5 kg, BMI= 28.3±4.5 kg/m2) were analyzed. Body mass (BM), BF%, muscular endurance (1-minute push-ups, 1-minute sit-ups), lower-body power (vertical jump height), sit-n-reach, and hand grip strength were measured, followed by a specific occupational Physical Ability Test (PAT). Lastly, aerobic fitness (2.4-km run) and sustained anaerobic power (300-m run) tests were performed. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each parameter. Pearson’s correlations were used to calculate relationships between each of the assessments and the PAT. Significance levels were set at p<0.05. RESULTS: Significant relationships were found between BF% and sit-n-reach (r= -0.107, p=.004), hand grip (r= 0.084, p=.024), vertical jump (r= -0.532, p<.001), push-up (r= -0.384, p<.001), and sit-up (r= -0.309, p<.001) scores, 300-m run (r= 0.483, p<.001) and 2.4-km run (r= 0.184, p<.001) times, and PAT (r= 0.474, p<.001) performance among male cadets. Significant relationships were discovered between BF% and hand grip (r= 0.225, p<.001), vertical jump (r= -0.294, p<.001), push-up (r= -0.320, p<.001), and sit-up (r= -0.243, p<.001) scores, and 300-m run (r= 0.492, p<.001) performance among female cadets. The only significant relationships between BMI and performance were discovered in sit-n-reach and vertical jump among female cadets (p<.05). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that higher BF% may negatively impact performance in male and female police cadets. Physical training programs for police cadets should focus on optimal body composition levels achievement for improving health, fitness, and occupational performance.

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