training

Project: The Police – a profession to care for

The aim of this project is to investigate Swedish police officers and police students´ physical fitness and physical and mental health longitudinally and thereby define factors that influence the ability to perform within the profession over time.

Project information

Project manager
Anna Hafsteinsson Östenberg
Other project members
Daniel Bjärsholm, Arne Rosendal Hansen, Olof Hansson, Linnaeus University
Sandra Krugly, Alexander Jansson, Jenny Vikman, Malmö University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Malmö University
Timetable
October 2020–ongoing
Subject
Sport Science (Department of Sport Science, Department of Police Work, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

The police constitute a vital societal function. Working as a police officer places great demands on the individual on-duty and includes both physical and mental strain. Therefore, fitness and strength are undoubtedly a prerequisite, especially since police officers are expected to cope with physical as well as mental stress on a daily basis. A majority of the general population does not reach the recommended levels of physical activity and for specific occupational groups a decline in physical fitness might have an even greater impact on work performance and overall health. Despite this, there is a lack of research concerning physical fitness and health in the police force.

The aim of this project is to investigate Swedish police officers and police students´ physical fitness and physical and mental health longitudinally and thereby define factors that influence the ability to perform within the profession over time.

To explore the physical and mental health as well as physical fitness of police officers and police students in Sweden, this study will use both a cross sectional and a longitudinal design. Mental and physical health will be investigated using both a revised survey of the Nationella folkhälsoenkäten – Hälsa på lika villkor and a standardized physical test battery which is currently used at two police academies in Sweden.

This project will contribute with new knowledge about: (i) physical fitness and health among police students and police officers, and how these aspects change over time; (ii) how health-related physical fitness is related to work induced ill-health and subsequent sick-leave, and lastly (iii) (iii) solutions for how to reduce ill-health and subsequent sick-leave among the police force.