Objective: To examine the independent and combined interrelationships among physical activity, perceived stress, and the metabolic syndrome in law enforcement officers (LEOs).
Methods: Perceived stress, self-reported physical activity, and metabolic syndrome risk factors were assessed in 386 white male LEOs.
Results: Among the LEOs, 23.1% had the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome was not significantly associated with perceived stress (r = 0.047) whereas physical activity was (r = −0.225, P < 0.0001). The odds ratios (95% CI) for possessing the metabolic syndrome in the low and moderate physical activity groups compared to the high physical activity group were 3.13 (95% CI = 1.56 to 6.26) and 2.30 (95% CI = 1.29 to 4.09), respectively.
Conclusions: Regardless of stress level, physical inactivity is an important risk factor in the metabolic syndrome among this unique occupational group.