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Exercise As A Factor In The Job Satisfaction Of Law Enforcement Officers

Bruce, Eric MS

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.JSC.0000367076.30318.e5
Abstract

It is generally known that exercising is a factor in the improvement of an individual's lifelong wellness. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on an individual's job satisfaction. But there is no literature that has investigated the impact of physical activity and job satisfaction on law enforcement officers. To determine if exercising is a factor in the job satisfaction of law enforcement officers. A questionnaire was constructed using extant theory of job satisfaction and exercise. The demographics questions will ask the officers to evaluate themselves on a nominal scale of yes/no on whether they exercise or not. The researcher developed the demographics and exercise sections of the survey. The job satisfaction section of the survey (which contains seven statements about job satisfaction) was developed and adapted from an online job satisfaction survey found on www.careervision.org. The researcher distributed an anonymous survey entitled, “Law Enforcement Officers Exercise and Job Satisfaction Survey” to law enforcement officers who volunteer to be part of the study. Distribution of the survey took take place at the end of each briefing before the officer goes on patrol, within a twenty-four hour period. During that period, there will be five patrol shifts of officers (various day and swing shifts), one shift called, “Community Response Team” which deals with undercover drug crimes (vice squad), and a shift of “Criminal Investigations Unit”, (better known as detectives unit) that will be voluntarily asked to take part in the study. The twenty-four hour window to distribute the survey is to ensure that an officer will not fill out a survey twice. Fifty-six surveys were successfully completed for results and analysis. Forty-six (82.1%) subjects answered, “yes” to being current exercisers and ten (17.9%) subjects answered “no” to being current exercisers. A high frequency of positive responses from the subjects to job satisfaction statements was noted. Three key findings were found in regards to the answers supplied by law enforcement officers in this study. First, the rate of physical activity adherence by law enforcement officers compared to the general population of the United States. Secondly, that a majority of law enforcement officers are satisfied with their jobs. Finally, survey items that measured job satisfaction indirectly did not directly correlate with the officer's exercise and job satisfaction responses. These findings suggest that law enforcement agencies should promote officer participation in regularly scheduled physical activity to increase job satisfaction. For an officer, physical activity can improve quality of life and reduce the risk of injury during stressful situations on duty. From an administrators view, increased physical activity and increased job satisfaction are links to decreased use of benefit dollars for sick leave and overtime pay.

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association