Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
Law Enforcement, Physical Fitness Standards
Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Hall, Tina M., "The Effects of Physical Fitness Policies on Law Enforcement Officers' Physical Fitness Levels" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3469.
Most law enforcement agencies have minimum physical standards for new hires; however, few agencies have physical fitness standards for members once they are hired. Many law enforcement officers experience a decrease in physical fitness levels as their years of law enforcement service increase. The decrease in physical fitness levels causes a reduction in the ability to perform job duties and increases health consequences. This study explored the relationship of physical fitness levels of sworn law enforcement members from agencies with and without enforced physical fitness standards. Anonymous surveys were completed by 1240 sworn law enforcement officers from eight state law enforcement agencies. The researcher conducted confidential telephone interviews with the agency heads or representatives from eight state law enforcement agencies. The data was analyzed to determine if physical fitness standards policies affected the physical fitness levels of sworn members. The participants' opinions on their physical fitness level, their peers' fitness, and department-mandated physical fitness standards contributed to this study. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) testing showed agency physical fitness standards affect the physical fitness level of sworn members and the number of time members spent maintaining or improving their physical conditioning.