It has been suggested that irregular physical exertion, unhealthy diet and shift work alongside occupational situations of high demand and low control can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease in emergency responders (Kales et al., 2009). This includes police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services. Three quarters of emergency responders demonstrated blood pressure values of prehypertension or hypertension (Kales et al., 2009). A contributing factor to the elevated blood pressure was related to the fact that 75% of the population reviewed were overweight or obese as categorised by body mass index (BMI). This suggests that emergency responders (Kales et al., 2009) have increased risk factors for metabolic syndrome. These risk factors of metabolic syndrome; obesity, dislipidemia, hyperglycemia and hypertension, have been linked to sub-clinical electrocardiographic (ECG) measures of cardiovascular disease (Elffers et al., 2017). It can therefore be considered that front line police officers may demonstrate increased risk factors for metabolic syndrome, and an early indication of cardiovascular disease. Further to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, BMI has been found to have a negative correlation with functional movement patterns in firefighters (Cornell et al., 2017). Therefore, this suggests that overweight or obese emergency responders may be at an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury.
The aim is to identify the physical health of the Bedfordshire Police Force, highlighting factors that may lead to an increased risk of hypertension, metabolic syndrome and musculoskeletal injury. This study will be cross sectional in design, with one observation point for all physiological variables. The police force will be grouped into front line staff and office workers, all physiological measures including body mass and composition, blood pressure, cholesterol, height, lung function resting glucose and heart rate will be compared for differences between the two groups. In addition, exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise and VO2MAX will also be calculated, respectively. All the outlined measures will be used to predict future skeletal muscle injuries and illnesses including, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, metabolic syndrome.
This studentship will cover fees for a full year-long MSc by Research alongside costs towards the dissemination of the findings (i.e. conference attendance, publication fees).
Application deadline is 25th September 2017
Applicants should be available for an October 16th 2017 start-date.
Applicants to be available for interview week commencing 2nd October 2017
The successful candidate and the experienced supervisory team of Dr Jeff Aldous ([email protected]), Dr Jo Richards ([email protected]) and Dr Andrew Mitchell ([email protected]) will be responsible for developing the final project outline.
*Subject to satisfactory progress on PP1 and PP2.