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Grip Strength and Its Relationship to Police Recruit Task Performance and Injury Risk: A Retrospective Cohort Study

1
Tactical Research Unit, Bond University, Robina, QLD 4213, Australia
2
New South Wales Police Force, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080941
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
Suitable grip strength is a police occupational requirement. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between grip strength, task performance and injury risk in a police population. Retrospective data of police recruits (n = 169) who had undergone basic recruit training were provided, including handgrip strength results, occupational task performance measures (consisting of police task simulations [SIM], tactical options [TACOPS] and marksmanship assessments) and injury records. Left hand grip strength (41.91 ± 8.29 kg) measures showed a stronger correlation than right hand grip strength (42.15 ± 8.53 kg) with all outcome measures. Recruits whose grip strength scores were lower were significantly more susceptible to failing the TACOPS occupational task assessment than those with greater grip strength scores, with significant (p ≤ 0.003) weak to moderate, positive correlations found between grip strength and TACOPS performance. A significant (p < 0.0001) correlation was found between grip strength, most notably of the left hand, and marksmanship performance, with those performing better in marksmanship having higher grip strength. Left hand grip strength was significantly associated with injury risk (r = −0.181, p = 0.018) but right hand grip strength was not. A positive association exists between handgrip strength and police recruit task performance (notably TACOPS and marksmanship) with recruits who scored poorly on grip strength being at greatest risk of occupational assessment task failure. View Full-Text
Keywords: assessment; hand strength; marksmanship; law enforcement; tactical; task performance assessment; hand strength; marksmanship; law enforcement; tactical; task performance
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Orr, R.; Pope, R.; Stierli, M.; Hinton, B. Grip Strength and Its Relationship to Police Recruit Task Performance and Injury Risk: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 941.

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