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Wellness Interventions for Sustainable Healthy Lifestyles Promotion in Tactical Populations

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2022) | Viewed by 26989

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Translational Biomedicine and Neuroscience (DiBraiN), University of Study of Bari, 70124 Bari, Italy
Interests: physical activity; fitness; exercise physiology; health promotion; body composition; human performance; special education; nutrition; tactical populations; sport psychology; strength and conditioning; combat sport; data analysis; research methodology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tactical populations, such as police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, and military personnel, require a high level of physical preparation to be able to perform their job tasks. However, the sedentary nature of certain tactical occupations can significantly reduce personnel fitness levels. As such, even though tactical professions require a high level of fitness, maintaining this fitness may be difficult during work hours. Furthermore, shift work, which is common in tactical occupations, can reduce the desire to exercise. The downstream effect of this lower level of workday physical activity can be seen in higher levels of obesity and higher BMI scores in police officers, firefighters, and military personnel in comparison to the general population. For this reason, tactical populations have a high risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. Stress, poor nutrition, sedentary behaviors, cigarette smoking, and shift work all have an additive effect, leading to a higher potential for chronic diseases. Fitness programs can successfully target these risk factors with an evidence-based approach. Physical training and nutritional intervention to improve fitness have associated health benefits, such as reducing obesity and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This Special Issue offers an opportunity to focus on the impact of physical activity, exercise, and nutrition on chronic disease prevention and psychophysical health in tactical populations, from the perspective of sustainability. A wide range of topics will be included in this issue related, but not limited, to the physical and mental wellbeing of employees; the implementation and effectiveness of fitness programs in the workplace; the engagement of managers in health initiatives, promoting sustainable healthy lifestyles for employees; health and wellbeing education interventions in workplace settings; and the impact of wellness interventions on work engagement and performance and/or productivity. Investigators that have researched these topics are invited to submit reviews and descriptive or experimental studies for consideration for this Special Issue of Sustainability.

Dr. Gianpiero Greco
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Tactical population
  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Health
  • Wellbeing
  • Nutrition
  • Sustainable lifestyle
  • Disease prevention
  • Fitness
  • Occupational health

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

9 pages, 845 KiB  
Article
Factorial and Construct Validity of Sit-Up Test of Different Durations to Assess Muscular Endurance of Police Students
by Filip Kukić, Robin Orr, Milan Marković, J. Jay Dawes, Aleksandar Čvorović and Nenad Koropanovski
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13630; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013630 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Background: The number of completed sit-ups in a given period of time is a commonly used assessment to measure trunk endurance in tactical populations. This study investigated factorial and construct validity of three different durations of a sit-up test—30 s, 60 s, and [...] Read more.
Background: The number of completed sit-ups in a given period of time is a commonly used assessment to measure trunk endurance in tactical populations. This study investigated factorial and construct validity of three different durations of a sit-up test—30 s, 60 s, and 120 s; Methods: Anthropometric characteristics and sit-ups performed for 30, 60, and 120 s by101 (♂: n = 62 and ♀: n = 39) police students were assessed. A factorial analysis was used to determine if three test durations group together in one factor, correlation analysis determined whether the sit-up tests were associated with anthropometric measures and whether the three variations in the test duration correlated between each other, and the Fisher’s transformation determined whether these correlations differed significantly; Results: All three sit-up variations loaded together into one factor in both sexes, providing factorial validity for all three test durations. Anthropometrics were associated with sit-up tests lasting 30 s in males and 120 s in females. A sit-up test lasting 60 s correlated significantly stronger to 120 s than to the 30 s sit-up test; Conclusions: The 60 s sit-up test seems to have the highest construct validity, as it was not affected by anthropometrics, and it may be an optimal choice for its lower risk of lower back injuries. By applying the results of this study, agencies could reduce the bias that may occur during the sit-up test and reduce the risk of injury during physical fitness assessment. Full article
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9 pages, 500 KiB  
Article
Is Self-Efficacy for Exercise Predictive of Leisure-Time Physical Activity among Police Officers? A Pilot Study
by Aspen E. Streetman, Alex Becker, Emily L. Mailey and Katie M. Heinrich
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12536; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912536 - 1 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Leisure-time moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is an essential indicator of overall health. Given the physical nature of police work, it is critical to understand variables that predict officers’ engagement in MVPA. Self-efficacy for exercise (SEE) may be a variable directly related [...] Read more.
Leisure-time moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is an essential indicator of overall health. Given the physical nature of police work, it is critical to understand variables that predict officers’ engagement in MVPA. Self-efficacy for exercise (SEE) may be a variable directly related to officer engagement in MVPA. This study aims to examine the relationship between SEE and MVPA among police officers in two departments in a small urban midwestern city. A cross-sectional survey was completed by 32 officers (male = 26, female = 6; aged 35.9 ± 7.1 years). Regression analysis was performed to explore how anthropometric and demographic variables affected SEE’s ability to predict MVPA. When combined with SEE, the model containing age had the highest predictive ability of officers’ engagement in MVPA (p = 0.011; adjusted R2 = 0.2145). Adding other predictor variables reduced the model’s ability to predict MVPA. SEE significantly predicted officers’ engagement in MVPA when age was added as a predictor variable. SEE alone could not predict officers’ engagement in MVPA, but adding other variables besides age to the model did not improve its predictive ability in our study. Police organizations should explore wellness initiatives that increase officers’ SEE and promote MVPA, particularly as officers age. Full article
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9 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Body Composition and Physical Activity of Female Police Officers: Do Occupation and Age Matter?
by Filip Kukić, Katie M. Heinrich, Nenad Koropanovski, Gianpiero Greco, Stefania Cataldi and Milivoj Dopsaj
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710589 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the differences in the body composition and volume of leisure time physical activity (V-LTPA) of female police officers from two police occupations and to assess the differences when officers are matched by age. Body composition measures including body [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the differences in the body composition and volume of leisure time physical activity (V-LTPA) of female police officers from two police occupations and to assess the differences when officers are matched by age. Body composition measures including body mass index (BMI), percent body fat (%BF), and percent of skeletal muscle mass (%SMM) of female communal police (n = 56) and general police (n = 90) were compared. Officers were allocated into three age groups: 29 years and younger, 30–39 years, and 40 years and older. We used an independent samples t-test, analysis of variance, and multiple analyses of variance to investigate the differences between occupations, between age groups, and between-occupation-within-age differences in body composition. Communal police officers had significantly (p < 0.05) lower BMI and %BF and higher %SMM compared to general police. Significant differences were found between age groups, with the youngest officers having lower BMI and %BF and higher %SMM and V-LTPA. Finally, differences in body composition were no longer significant when officers from different occupations were compared within age groups. Police agencies should consider supporting and motivating officers through policies to encourage leisure time physical activities for female officers. Other mechanisms for the management of body composition should also be considered. Full article
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13 pages, 786 KiB  
Article
Pistol Shooting Performance Correlates with Respiratory Muscle Strength and Pulmonary Function in Police Cadets
by Emre Karaduman, Özgür Bostancı, Fatih Karakaş, Menderes Kabadayı, Ali Kerim Yılmaz, Zeki Akyildiz, Georgian Badicu, Stefania Cataldi and Francesco Fischetti
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7515; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127515 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
Breathing patterns play a crucial role in shooting performance; however, little is known about the respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary capacities that control these patterns. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between shooting performance, respiratory muscle strength, and pulmonary function and [...] Read more.
Breathing patterns play a crucial role in shooting performance; however, little is known about the respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary capacities that control these patterns. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between shooting performance, respiratory muscle strength, and pulmonary function and to determine differences in respiratory capacities according to the shooting performance categories in police cadets. One hundred sixty-seven police cadets were recruited to assess respiratory muscle strength, pulmonary function, and shooting performance in a well-controlled environment. Measurements included maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), maximal expiratory pressure (MEP), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), slow vital capacity (SVC), maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV), and pistol shooting scores. The shooting score had a moderate positive correlation with MIP (ρ = 0.33) and MEP (ρ = 0.45). FVC (ρ = 0.25), FEV1 (ρ = 0.26), SVC (ρ = 0.26) (p < 0.001) and MVV (ρ = 0.21) (p < 0.05) were slightly correlated with shooting score. There were differences between shooting performance categories in MIP, MEP, FVC, FEV1, SVC, and MVV (p < 0.001, p < 0.05). The results imply that both strong respiratory muscles and optimal pulmonary function may be one of the necessary prerequisites for superior shooting performance in police. Full article
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9 pages, 267 KiB  
Communication
New Training Program for the New Requirements of Combat of Tactical Athletes
by Vicente Javier Clemente-Suárez
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031216 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
Actual theaters of operations are complex contexts where soldiers must face different situations, such as symmetrical, asymmetrical, or close quarter combat. The requirements of the actual battlefield are different to the traditional conditioning military training. This new changing scenario produces an activation of [...] Read more.
Actual theaters of operations are complex contexts where soldiers must face different situations, such as symmetrical, asymmetrical, or close quarter combat. The requirements of the actual battlefield are different to the traditional conditioning military training. This new changing scenario produces an activation of the innate fight or flight defense mechanisms with large activations of the anaerobic metabolic pathways and the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. In these scenarios, the anaerobic, aerobic, and strength demands are so specific and the time to improve all training demands in the units is limited. We propose a new training periodization for the military population based on the latest research into the psychophysiological response of soldiers in actual theaters of operations (actual military missions) and actual civilian models of training and periodization to develop a specific, easy, and reliable periodization model for actual tactical athletes. This training intervention was developed in order to improve operational training according to the demands of actual theaters of operations, based on recent research in military and civilian populations. We tried to conduct a proposal that is easy to apply, with minimal use of material different to what could be found in a military base and that could be implemented in a short period of time. Full article
11 pages, 472 KiB  
Article
Psychometric Properties of the Serbian Version of the Operational and Organizational Police Stress Questionnaires
by Filip Kukić, Dane Subošić, Katie M. Heinrich, Gianpiero Greco and Nenad Koropanovski
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413662 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
The Police Operational Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Op) and Police Organizational Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Org) have been used to assess operational and organizational sources of police officers’ occupational stress. Considering that different cultural and socio-economic environments could affect officers’ perception of operational and organizational stress, country [...] Read more.
The Police Operational Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Op) and Police Organizational Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Org) have been used to assess operational and organizational sources of police officers’ occupational stress. Considering that different cultural and socio-economic environments could affect officers’ perception of operational and organizational stress, country specific psychometric properties and cut-off values should be defined. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of the Serbian version of the PSQ-Op and PSQ-Org (i.e., translated in Serbian and adjusted to Serbian culture) and to establish cut-off values for low, moderate and high stress. Methods: The PSQ-Op and PSQ-Org were administered to police officers through the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia. Participants included 1220 police officers (19.0% female) who correctly completed both questionnaires. Cronbach’s α was used to determine the reliability of instruments. Cut-off values for low, moderate and high stress were defined based on the mean and standard deviation of the sample and using percentile analysis. Prevalence of low, moderate and high stress was calculated according to already established cut-off values as well as those calculated based on the study sample. Results: Both instruments showed high reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.963 [95% Confidence Interval = 0.957–0.964]). Occupational stress levels (low, moderate and high) were distributed differently (p < 0.001) when categorized according to the cut-off values defined in literature and cut-off values based on the study sample. The cut-off values by mean and standard deviation could be used for PSQ-Op, while cut-off values by percentile analysis could be used for PSQ-Org. Full article
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15 pages, 1294 KiB  
Article
Dimensionality Reduction Differentiates Sensitive Force-Time Characteristics from Loaded and Unloaded Conditions throughout Competitive Military Training
by Justin J. Merrigan, Jason D. Stone, Jad Ramadan, Joshua A. Hagen and Andrew G. Thompson
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6105; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116105 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2695
Abstract
The purpose was to evaluate neuromuscular fatigue’s effect on unloaded and loaded countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time characteristics during high-intensity tactical training. Eighteen male and sixteen female Marines completed two maximal effort CMJs, in unloaded (PVC pipe) and loaded (10 kg weight vest and [...] Read more.
The purpose was to evaluate neuromuscular fatigue’s effect on unloaded and loaded countermovement jump (CMJ) force-time characteristics during high-intensity tactical training. Eighteen male and sixteen female Marines completed two maximal effort CMJs, in unloaded (PVC pipe) and loaded (10 kg weight vest and 20 kg barbell) conditions, prior to, and 24, 48, and 72 h after starting the 4-day event. The top three variables from three principal components (PC) were analyzed using mixed-effects modeling (PC1—concentric mean power, eccentric peak force, and modified reactive strength index; PC2—countermovement depth, eccentric mean power, and eccentric mean velocity; PC3—braking duration, jump height, peak power). Metrics from PC1 and PC3 were reduced across training and from both loading conditions. Metrics from PC2 were similarly affected by external loading but were less influenced by training-induced fatigue. Jump performances with the barbell and with shallower countermovement depths did not change throughout training. Thus, 20 kg loaded CMJs are stable neuromuscular measures suitable for tracking chronic training adaptations. Monitoring unloaded and 10 kg loaded CMJ performances, along with movement strategies (i.e., countermovement rates and depth), may help identify moments of accumulated fatigue to inform training and recovery adjustments and improve the sustainability of personnel. Full article
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13 pages, 555 KiB  
Article
Developing the Fitness of Law Enforcement Recruits during Academy Training
by Danny J. Maupin, Ben Schram, Elisa F. D. Canetti, Jay J. Dawes, Robert Lockie and Robin M. Orr
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7944; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197944 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Law enforcement is an intermittently physically demanding job, interspersed with long periods of sedentary activity. To prepare for the physical demands of the job, law enforcement agencies enlist recruits into academies with a focus on physical training. Often, academies focus on aerobic-based exercise [...] Read more.
Law enforcement is an intermittently physically demanding job, interspersed with long periods of sedentary activity. To prepare for the physical demands of the job, law enforcement agencies enlist recruits into academies with a focus on physical training. Often, academies focus on aerobic-based exercise despite anaerobic fitness being strongly correlated to occupational tasks. The objective of this article is to analyze the changes in the fitness of police recruits during academy training. Initial and final fitness test results, encompassing muscular power, strength, endurance as well as aerobic and anaerobic fitness, were measured to analyze changes in fitness. Dependent t-tests showed significant increases (p < 0.05) across all fitness tests, with a trend towards larger increases in aerobic and muscle-endurance-based tests. Recruits from this academy tended to have higher fitness results compared to other academies and were either average or below average compared to age-matched standards in the general population. Physical training should persist for recruits beyond the academy to continue to develop fitness throughout their career. Academies should add a focus on muscular strength and power training as these measures relate to occupational tasks, which may better prepare recruits for demands they will be expected to face in the field. Full article
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9 pages, 214 KiB  
Article
Impact of an 11-Week Strength and Conditioning Program on Firefighter Trainee Fitness
by Brandon L. Stone, Brent A. Alvar, Robin M. Orr, Robert G. Lockie, Quincy R. Johnson, Jonathan Goatcher and J. Jay Dawes
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6541; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166541 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4095
Abstract
Physical fitness is an important aspect of physical health and wellbeing. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 11-weeks of formal strength and conditioning training conducted during fire academy training on the physical fitness characteristics of firefighter trainees. Archived [...] Read more.
Physical fitness is an important aspect of physical health and wellbeing. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 11-weeks of formal strength and conditioning training conducted during fire academy training on the physical fitness characteristics of firefighter trainees. Archived physical fitness data for 23 male fire academy trainees (age: 27.6 ± 4.3 y; height: 178.5 ± 6.9 cm; body mass [BM]: 83.9 ± 1.8 kg; BM index [BMI]: 26.8 ± 2.8 kg/m2) were analyzed for this study. These data included vertical jump height, maximum pull-up repetitions, hand grip strength, lower-body strength (3RM Hexbar) and aerobic fitness. Trainees performed three sessions per week (two resistance training sessions and one aerobic conditioning session) in addition to fire academy training. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant (p < 0.05) pre-post decreases in BM and BMI and significant increases in upper- and lower-body strength, and aerobic fitness. Strength and conditioning programs are beneficial for improving firefighter trainees’ physical fitness even when run concurrently with fire academy training and with limited space and equipment. This increased fitness may aid in mitigating known occupational injury risks to this population and improve task performance. Full article
7 pages, 206 KiB  
Article
Association between Body Fat Percentage and Physical Performance in Male Korean Police Officers
by Jooyoung Kim, Wi-Young So and Sangwoon Kim
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093868 - 9 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
Body composition can affect a police officer’s physical performance. We analyzed the correlation between body fat percentage (%fat) and physical performance in 326 male Korean police officers (age, 44.2 ± 9.2 years; height, 174.0 ± 4.5 cm; weight, 76.4 ± 8.8 kg) who [...] Read more.
Body composition can affect a police officer’s physical performance. We analyzed the correlation between body fat percentage (%fat) and physical performance in 326 male Korean police officers (age, 44.2 ± 9.2 years; height, 174.0 ± 4.5 cm; weight, 76.4 ± 8.8 kg) who were classified into two groups according to their %fat: high-fat (HFG, %fat ≥ 25%; n = 135) and low-fat (LFG, %fat < 25%; n = 191). Physical performance tests included a 100-m sprint, push-ups, sit-ups, and a hand-grip strength test. The results showed significant differences in performance between the groups in the 100-m sprint (p = 0.001) and in the sit-up test (p = 0.033), but not for push-ups (p = 0.130) or hand-grip strength (p = 0.255). A significant positive correlation was found between %fat and the 100-m sprint (r = 0.255, p < 0.000), and a negative correlation was found between %fat and push-ups (r = −0.117, p = 0.035) and sit-ups (r = −0.199, p < 0.000). However, there was no significant correlation between %fat and hand-grip strength (r = −0.093, p = 0.095). To improve physical performance, an intervention training program is recommended for reducing %fat, because high levels of %fat in male Korean police officers were associated with low levels of physical performance. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

22 pages, 592 KiB  
Review
Conservative Interventions for Non-Specific Low Back Pain in Tactical Populations: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Eduardo Marins, Eduardo Caputo, Marcelo da Silva, Jay Dawes, Robin Orr and Cristine Lima Alberton
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197922 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Limited evidence exists about non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) interventions among tactical personnel (police officers, firefighters, or army forces). The aim was to identify and systematically review the findings of randomized control trials (RCTs) investigating conservative interventions for the treatment NSLBP in tactical [...] Read more.
Limited evidence exists about non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) interventions among tactical personnel (police officers, firefighters, or army forces). The aim was to identify and systematically review the findings of randomized control trials (RCTs) investigating conservative interventions for the treatment NSLBP in tactical personnel. A search of seven databases for randomized controlled trials RCTs were conducted. Two independent reviewers extracted data and assessed the risk of bias (PEDro scale). Five RCTs (n = 387 military subjects; median PEDro score = 7/10) were included. The trials were highly heterogeneous, differing in pain and disability outcome measures, duration of NSLBP symptoms (acute, nonacute, nonchronic, and chronic), types of intervention (exercise, manual therapy, and physical therapy), types of control groups, and intervention durations (4–12 weeks). Two studies reported that strengthening exercise interventions were not effective for reducing pain or disability in military personnel with chronic or nonacute NSLBP. Manual therapy treatment was more effective than usual activities in current pain and pain typical symptoms in soldiers with acute NSLBP after four weeks. A multidimensional intervention reduced disability in military personnel with non-chronic NSLBP after four weeks. Strong evidence does not exist for the efficacy of any conservative interventions in the reduction of pain and disability in tactical populations with NSLBP. Full article
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