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Characterization of the Physical Fitness of Police Officers

A Systematic Review

Marins, Eduardo F.1,2; David, Gabriela B.2; Del Vecchio, Fabrício B.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 10 - p 2860–2874
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003177
Brief Review

Marins, EF, David, GB, and Del Vecchio, FB. Characterization of the physical fitness of police officers: a systematic review. J Strength Cond Res 33(10): 2860–2874, 2019—Physical fitness tests (e.g., aerobic power, muscular endurance, and flexibility tests) are commonly used to assess the ability of police officers to perform work-related tasks. The purpose of this study was to describe, from a systematic literature review, data related to police physical fitness. The research was conducted in 5 electronic databases to search for original studies that measured physical fitness (aerobic and anaerobic capacity, strength, endurance, power, flexibility, agility, and speed) of police officers, as well as the article references. Original studies assessing objective measures of physical fitness in police officers were included, with no date restriction. Fifty-nine articles were included in the review. The studies mostly measured cardiorespiratory fitness indirectly, strength, and muscular endurance, as well as other performance components (body composition, power, flexibility, speed, agility, and anaerobic profile), with police officers generally presenting values similar or above the average of the general population. It can be concluded that intervention studies are needed to promote and incorporate programs related to improvement or maintenance of physical fitness in police officers, which would result in health benefits and specifically improvement in performance of specific tasks of police work. This review provides summary information to assist in the selection of physical fitness tests for police populations. Still, these findings have practical applications for public security agencies and its personnel responsible for the development and implementation of physical programs in policemen population.

1Federal Highway Police Department, Brasília, Brazil; and

2College of Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil

Address correspondence to Eduardo F. Marins,

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Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.