Gone are the days of the stereotypical, overweight cop eating doughnuts and sipping coffee. Most police officers today take their jobs very seriously – and their overall health plays a large role.
Today’s officers realize that by keeping fit they will be better prepared to handle the physical and mental stress associated with their jobs.
As we all know, police officers endure strenuous physical and emotional situations every day. Their ability to handle the rigors of running, lifting and occasionally dealing with force or self-defense is directly related to their level of fitness. Riding in a patrol car for multiples hours can cause back and leg pain. Standing for long periods can have the same effect.
In addition to the physical demands of duty, police offers are also subjected to psychological and emotional stress. These mental pressures can lead to physical issues.
Because of this, maintaining a healthy body and mind are now necessities of police work.
- So they can be more efficient and capable officers
- Because they understand that a healthy officer is a safer officer
- So they can prevent injury to themselves and others
- So they can portray a better public image
- So they can serve longer
- So they are healthier mentally as well as physically
The health and fitness of police and other public safety officers is often a news worthy topic. And it is certainly a topic that various agencies and departments across the country approach differently. Depending on where you work, you’ll find that some departments place more emphasis on it than others.
Most states do have mandated fitness programs for training academies and entry into the force. And while some departments and agencies have extended those requirements to all officers, fitness programs are dependent on the outlook of the individual agencies.
Some departments provide incentives for staying fit. Some agencies in England and Ireland have even issued lifestyle guidelines designed to help officers maintain a healthy lifestyle. In the end, the whole point is to keep officers fit and healthy.
By and large though, most officers have a real understanding that their level of physical fitness is important to their work. And because they care about the work they do, they try to lead healthier and more active lifestyles.
How do you feel about your personal level of fitness and how it impacts your effectiveness at work? Please share any thoughts and comments below.
You may also enjoy the post on How To Stay Safe While On Duty.