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Annual Meeting Abstracts: F-22 – Thematic Poster: Homeland Security, What does it Take?

Aerobic Demand of Conducting a Simulated Footchase, Arrest and Handcuff Task in the UK Police

Nevola, Venturino R.; Collins, Susan Margaret; Puxley, Kenton P.; Bentley, Mark; Withey, Winston Reginald

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2004 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p S245
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The UK Police Service requires role-related, legally defensible, and non-discriminatory standards to assess whether recruits are able to meet the physical demands of the operational role. However, no objective data are available to quantify tasks required of a Constable. PURPOSE: We required, therefore, to determine the aerobic demand of a foot-chase and arrest, a task which had been identified in the Police National Competency Framework as a critical requirement of the operational role. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) defined three methods of conducting an arrest following a footchase: (a) take-down, ground-pin and handcuff; (b) rear, back-to-back handcuff; (c) front stack handcuff. METHODS: Ten recruits (9 men, 1 woman) with a mean (1SD) age 25.3 (2.9) years; body mass 73.9 (13.9) kg; VO2max 3.6 (0.3) L.min−1 conducted in a gymnasium 3, best-time, repetitions for each of the 3 methods, each repetition being preceded by a 300-m run in 60s. For 2 repetitions of each method the ‘target’ offered mild resistance. Subjects wore underwear, shorts, T-shirt, socks, training shoes and belt-mounted operational equipment. VO2 and heart rate were measured continuously using a Cosmed K4b2 gas analyser. Subjects gave a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) after each repetition. To verify the authenticity of repetitions, SMEs provided performance ratings on an interval rating scale from 0 to 10 (best). Statistical evaluation was by ANOVA with the α level set at 0.05. RESULTS: Subjects complied with Police standard procedures (mean SME rating for 90 repetitions was 7.0 (1.1)). VO2 was: (a) 2.6 (0.1) L.min−1; (b) 2.4 (0.1) L.min−1; (c) 2.1 (0.1) L.min−1 ((a) = (b) > (c) P<0.01). The highest VO2 recorded in any repetition was 2.9 L.min−1. RPE score for all repetitions was very hard, 16.6 (0.5). Mean VO2 of (a) was 72 (5.3) % of VO2max.

CONCLUSIONS: These data imply that a recruit to the UK Police Service must have a VO2 max exceeding 2.6 L.min−1. Supported by the Home Office, UK.

©2004The American College of Sports Medicine