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Association Between Somatotype Profile and Health-Related Physical Fitness in Special Police Unit

Araújo, Alfredo Oliveira MSc; Cancela, José Maria PhD; Rocha-Rodrigues, Sílvia PhD; Rodrigues, Luís Paulo PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 2 - p e51–e55
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001515

Objectives: To characterize somatotype profile and analyze the association between somatotype components, physical, and physiological variables in special police unit (SPU) officers.

Methods: One hundred eight male SPU officers, aged 42.5 ± 4.1 years. Somatotype profile, predicted maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), and physical performance tests were evaluated.

Results: The mean somatotypes were 4.04-6.38-1.22. All values clustered amongst the endo-mesomorphism (86%) while mesomorphy was the dominant component (98%). The mean of predicted VO2max was 50.3 ± 5.2 mL kg−1 min−1. The body mass index (BMI) is more than or equal to 30 was associated to a lowest predicted VO2max (r = 0.613). The VO2max negatively correlated with mesomorphy (r = –0.251). Mesomorphy somatotype was positively associated with maximal and explosive strength tests.

Conclusion: Our findings indicated that somatotype profile can be used as an accurate method to assess body physique and shape in SPU officers and an ecto-mesomorphism profile was associated to superior performance in physical and physiological measures.

Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, Complexo Desportivo e de Lazer de Melgaço Monte de Prado (Mr Araújo, Dr Rocha-Rodrigues, Dr Rodrigues); Detached Force of Special Police Unit (Mr Araújo); Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Activity, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain (Mr Araújo, Dr Cancela); Laboratory of Metabolism and Exercise, Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (CIAFEL), Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Porto (Dr Rocha-Rodrigues); Research Center in Sports Science, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD) (Dr Rodrigues), Portugal.

Address correspondence to: Luís Paulo Rodrigues, PhD, Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer; Complexo Desportivo e de Lazer Comendador Rui Solheiro, 4960-320 Melgaço, Viana do Castelo, Portugal (

Funding: The Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure was supported by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT): UID/DTP/00617/2013.

Conflicts of Interest: None declare.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine