Aspiring policemen put through their paces with the Wrexham Glyndwr Sports and Drill Team

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Job : Sat 29 Jan 2022

Update: Sat 29 Jan

Wrexham Glyndwr’s future police officers were put through their paces by the university’s sport and exercise science team.

In addition to obtaining a degree in professional policing, aspiring officers must also achieve certain fitness levels when joining the force.

With this in mind, the Professional Policing Course officials contacted Dr. Chelsea Moore of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science to help prepare students for their fitness test, also known as the “beep test”. “.

After conducting the assessments over several months, lecturer in applied sport and exercise physiology, Dr Chelsea Moore, was able to present the results at the annual conference of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science. exercise (BASICS).

Coming from a family of police officers, Chelsea said she is aware of the growing importance of physical fitness in modern policing and is happy to help students prepare so that ‘they can reach the required level (which is level 5.4 on the beep test).

She said: “When the Professional Policing Diploma was introduced, the department asked me for help in supporting students through their personal security training process.

“We held training sessions to familiarize them with the beep test, three sessions throughout the year.

“What we were looking for was attendance – were regular attendees doing better, is there a difference in their level of fitness?

“Students have to go through checkups and visits from an occupational therapist to determine if they are healthy enough to join the force – they look at their BMI (body mass index). If it’s above a certain limit, they won’t even reach the fitness test item.

“We can also look at whether some students need some sort of dietary intervention.

“What we found with the majority of them was that their BMI was good. However, some students could not meet the required level of the beep test to enter the police. A level of 5 .4 is reached in 3-4 minutes.

“What we found was that attendance at the sessions declined over time, perhaps because many of those who attended the first few sessions found that they were already at the required level and thought their fitness was good so didn’t need to come back.

“We also found that some of them were not reaching the level, which was concerning. The onus is on the students to keep fit. »

But even students who may not have been considered fit found that on the day of their assessment they were motivated and able to achieve the standard, Chelsea adding that in some cases psychological barriers also need to be overcome. .

“To assess fitness, we need to look at how well the body can extract oxygen from the atmosphere,” she said.

“As physiologists, we like to assess their oxygen.

“Some psychological barriers are reported in some students and serving officers – perhaps because this is a testing situation. In reality, there is no situation where a police officer would be asked to go back and forth between two cones.

“Psychological barriers must be taken into account. Some female serving officers don’t necessarily want to take these tests in front of other people for fear of feeling embarrassed.

“With the students, we noticed little difference from session to session in terms of fitness, so it’s now a matter of looking at what more we can do to support students who need a any intervention. We want to compare whether the beep test is reliable as a fitness test and compare it to their actual fitness test.

“A career in the police is exciting, but I don’t know if some young people realize that to get in you need a level of fitness, the job itself is demanding. Many young people do not exercise much, are sedentary and do not eat healthy. Changing habits is quite difficult, especially if you are starting a university degree away from home.

“In order to look at their fitness and not if they’ve just gotten familiar with the test, we’re going to be looking at heart rate, putting monitors on the students, looking to see if the rate is lower per level of the beep test. – if there is a physiological gain.

“I presented the results at the BASE conference and was asked to become more involved with North Wales Police and current serving officers. In 2013, they made it mandatory for current serving officers to take the beep test annually. It’s more important for young recruits – knowing that it’s not just about getting into the force, it’s about maintaining that level of fitness throughout your career and life.

More information on the BSc (Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise Sciences Degree at Wrexham Glyndwr, can be found here.

To find out more about the University’s BSc (Hons) professional policing degree, visit the Wrexham Glyndwr website.

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