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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 941: Grip Strength and Its Relationship to Police Recruit Task Performance and Injury Risk: A Retrospective Cohort Study

21 Aug 2017

IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 941: Grip Strength and Its Relationship to Police Recruit Task Performance and Injury Risk: A Retrospective Cohort Study

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080941

Authors:
Robin Orr
Rodney Pope
Michael Stierli
Benjamin Hinton

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.

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