Term of Award

Fall 1994

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

James L. McMillan

Committee Member 1

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Ming Li


The purpose of this study was to conduct an assessment to determine whether there was a need to implement a physical fitness program to improve the health and fitness of full-time certified employees in a south Georgia law enforcement agency. A total of 126 (104 males, 22 females) deputy sheriffs were assessed for risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) and to evaluate the relationship of fitness to risk. For data analysis the subjects were divided into age groups of 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; and 60-69 years. Due to a small number of female subjects they were combined into one category. The subjects were composed of the following occupational categories: road patrol, correctional/jail, detectives, drug squad, administrative and civil process and court services personnel. Eleven groups of 10-14 deputies attended a 22-hour health and wellness class over an eleven week period. While in attendance they were assessed over a three day period for physical fitness levels. A composite fitness score for each subject was developed from the following fitness tests: 1.5 mile run, sit-and-reach flexibility, situps, pushups, and body composition. Blood samples were analyzed for lipid fractions and glucose levels. Males in all age groups showed a significant difference (p140 mm Hg. Whereas, 26.9% of all officers had a diastolic blood pressure >90 mm Hg. The present data are consistent with previous findings which indicate, at best, police officers possess average to below average physical fitness levels for their age classifications. The progressive decline in cardiorespiratory fitness and increased fatness with age provide areas of concern.

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