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Physical Activity in Police Beyond Self-Report

Ramey, Sandra L. PhD, RN; Perkhounkova, Yelena PhD; Moon, Mikyung PhD, RN; Tseng, Hui-Chen PhD, RN; Wilson, Annerose MSN, RN; Hein, Maria MSW; Hood, Kristin BA; Franke, Warren D. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: March 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 - p 338–343
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000108
Original Articles

Objective: Police officers have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Reductions in occupational physical activity may contribute to the risk, yet there have been few efforts to characterize the physical demands of police work beyond self-report.

Purpose: To compare measured physical activity between work and off-duty hours and assess the effects of stress on physical activity.

Methods: Officers (n = 119) from six departments wore a pattern recognition monitor for 96 hours to measure total energy expenditure (kilocalorie per hour) (1k/cal = 4184 joules), activity intensity, and step count per hour.

Results: Participants were more active on their off-duty days than at work; the effects of stress on physical activity seemed moderated by sex.

Conclusions: Police work is primarily a sedentary occupation, and officers tend to be more active on their off-duty days than during their work hours.

From The University of Iowa College of Nursing (Drs Ramey, Perkhounkova, Moon, and Tseng, and Ms Wilson, Ms Hein, and Ms Hood) The University of Iowa College of Public Health (Dr Ramey), Iowa City; and Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University (Dr Franke), Ames.

Address correspondence to: Sandra L. Ramey, PhD, RN, The University of Iowa College of Nursing and College of Public Health, 50 Newton Rd NB 464, Iowa City, IA 52242 (sandra-ramey@uiowa.edu).

Funded by a pilot grant from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (grant number ULIRR024979) at the University of Iowa.

The authors declare no conflicts of interests.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine