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.