Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol.56(3) : 338-343, 2014
Objective: Police officers have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Reductions in occupational physical activity may contribute to the risk, yet
there have been few efforts to characterize the physical demands of police
work beyond self-report. Purpose: To compare measured physical activity
between work and off-duty hours and assess the effects of stress on physical
activity. Methods: Officers (n = 119) from six departments wore a pattern
recognition monitor for 96 hours to measure total energy expenditure (kilocalorie
per hour) (1k/cal = 4184 joules), activity intensity, and step count
per hour. Results: Participants were more active on their off-duty days than
at work; the effects of stress on physical activity seemed moderated by sex.
Conclusions: Police work is primarily a sedentary occupation, and officers
tend to be more active on their off-duty days than during their work hours.