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Police Officers Who Are Physically Active and Have Low Levels of Body Fat Show Better Reaction Time

Dominski, Fábio Hech MD; Crocetta, Tania Brusque MD; Santo, Leandro Barbosa do Espírito BS; Cardoso, Thiago Elpídio BS; da Silva, Rudney PhD; Andrade, Alexandro PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 1 - p e1–e5
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001205
Original Articles

Objective: To analyze the relationship between reaction time (RT), level of physical activity (PA), and anthropometric indicators in police officers in Special Operation Units.

Methods: Twenty-two police officers (34.5 ± 9.1 years old) from Santa Catarina, Brazil, who were members of a Special Operation Coordination Unit. RT was measured by the Vienna Test System. Were obtained values of body mass index (BMI), body fat (BF), and waist-to-hip ratio. PA was investigated using the Physical Activity Evaluation Questionnaire.

Results: Younger police officers (less than 34 years) and BF less than 15% presented better performance in RT when compared with older, and BF more than 15%, respectively. RT was negatively related to PA (rho = −0.48, P < 0.05), and positively related to BF (rho = 0.76, P < 0.01) and to BMI (rho = 0.46, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Participants from the group with greater BF and insufficient PA reacted significantly slower than others.

Santa Catarina State University, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina (Dr Dominski, Dr Crocetta, Mr Santo, Mr Cardoso, Dr Silva, Dr Andrade); and Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Santo André, São Paulo (Dr Crocetta), Brazil.

Address correspondence to: Fábio Hech Dominski, MD, Pascoal Simone, 358, CEP 88080-350, Coqueiros, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil (

Funding: This study was supported by the Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination (CAPES) (Public notice No. 03/2015), through masters fellowships.

Ethical approval and informed consent: Ethical approval was obtained from Santa Catarina State University (protocol number 63411/2012) and those who participated in the study submitted signed informed consents.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine