Physical Fitness Information
What Physical Fitness Is
Physical fitness is a health status pertaining to the individual officer having the physiological readiness to perform maximum physical effort when required.
Three Areas of Physical Fitness Physical Fitness Related to Law Enforcement What Physical Fitness Is
- Aerobic capacity or cardiovascular endurance pertaining to the heart and vascular system's capacity to transport oxygen. It is also a key area for heart disease in that low aerobic capacity is a risk factor.
- Strength pertains to the ability of muscles to generate force. Upper body strength and abdominal strength are important areas in that the low strength levels have a bearing on upper torso and lower back disorders.
- Flexibility pertains to the range of motion of the joints and muscles. Lack of lower back flexibility is a major risk area for lower back disorders.
Physical Fitness Related to Law Enforcement
Why is fitness important as a job related element for Law Enforcement?
It has been well documents that Law Enforcement personnel (as an occupational class) have serious health risk problems in terms of cardiovascular disease, lower back disorders and obesity. Law enforcement agencies have the responsibility of minimizing known risk. Physical fitness is a health domain which can minimize the "known" health risks for Law Enforcement officers. Physical fitness has been demonstrated to be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). Job analysis that account for physical fitness have demonstrated that fitness areas are underlying factors determining the physiological readiness to perform a variety of critical physical tasks. These three fitness areas have also been shown to be predicative of job performance ratings, sick time and number of commendations of police officers. Data also shows that the fitness level is predicative of trainability and academy performance.
Physical fitenss can be an important area for minimizing liability. The unfit officer is less able to resond fully to strenuous physical activity. Consequently, the risk of not performing physical duties is increased.
Candidates participating in the POWER Test are recommended to maintain proper hydration. It is also important to limit the use of stimulants(e.g. coffee, nicotine, soda and energy drinks) because they cause dehydration in your body.