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Independent and Combined Influence of Physical Activity and Perceived Stress on the Metabolic Syndrome in Male Law Enforcement Officers

Yoo, Hye Lim MS; Eisenmann, Joey C. PhD; Franke, Warren D. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 1 - p 46-53
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31817f9e43
Original Articles: Special Section on Climate Change and Health

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.

From the Department of Kinesiology (Ms Yoo, Dr Franke), Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; and Department of Kinesiology (Dr Eisenmann), Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

Address correspondence to: Warren D. Franke, PhD, 247 Forker Building, Ames, IA 50011; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine