Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Abel

Abstract

Law enforcement on academic campuses can be a physically demanding profession. Law enforcement officers (LEOs) may be required to perform a variety of physical tasks. Identifying which physical fitness characteristics are associated with these tasks will guide the development of appropriate and effective exercise programs. Therefore the purpose of this study was to identify physical fitness and demographic characteristics associated with the occupational physical ability of university LEOs. Sixteen male LEOs (age: 33.1±8.7 yr.; body mass: 87.2±11.2 kg; height: 178.9±7.9 cm) performed an officer physical ability test (OPAT) that simulated a foot chase of a suspect. In addition, the officers completed a battery of physical fitness tests that assessed aerobic and anaerobic capacity, muscular endurance, strength, power, flexibility, agility, and body composition. The OPAT was correlated with agility, upper body muscular endurance and strength, torso endurance, lower body power, aerobic endurance, and relative body composition (p<0.05). In addition, the OPAT was correlated with the following demographic and anthropometric variables: age, work experience, and waist and abdominal circumferences (p<0.05). In conclusion, tactical strength and conditioning professionals must design exercise programs for university LEOs to improve multiple components of physical fitness and focus on weight management.

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