Law enforcement officers (LEOs) suffer from premature mortality, intentional and unintentional injury, suicide and are at an increased risk for several non-communicable disease outcomes including cardiovascular disease and several cancers, compared to those employed in other occupations. Repeated exposure to stressful and traumatic stimuli is a possible mechanism driving these adverse health outcomes among LEOs. To better identify the sources of these health problems, the purpose of this paper is to determine the feasibility of conducting a cohort study using physiological measures of stress (e.g. heart rate) with LEOs; perceptions of the FitBit device, including LEO buy-in and attitudes associated with the protocol.
Data were collected from ten recent graduates of the Dallas Police Training Academy.
Results suggest that officer buy-in and protocol compliance was high. Officers were eager to participate in this study, and completion of weekly surveys was 100 percent. Minute-level missing data from wearable devices was relatively low (25 percent), and 90 percent of participants wore the FitBit devices on more than 90 percent of study days.
Results from this study suggest that wearable physiological devices can be effectively used in law enforcement populations to measure stress.
Reingle Gonzalez, J.M., Jetelina, K.K., Bishopp, S.A., Livingston, M.D., Perez, R.A. and Gabriel, K.P. (2019), "The feasibility of using real-time, objective measurements of physiological stress among law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 701-710. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-12-2018-0184
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