The Importance of Physical Well-Being to Law Enforcement

Over the past month, we have been exploring the GALLUP/Healthways Well-Being 5 as they pertain to the law enforcement field. The fifth and final element examines the importance of physical well-being. This refers to having good overall health and a sufficient amount of stamina to accomplish daily tasks. An individual with strong physical well-being tends to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis, and get a sufficient amount of sleep. According to GALLUP’s research, those who make these healthier choices are more likely to achieve better overall physical and mental health, and tend to have a longer life span.

Diet, exercise, and sleep are three critical elements to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Because of their importance to overall well-being, GALLUP notes simple steps one can take to increase his or her physical well-being:

1. Exercise at least 20 minutes each day
2. Sleep 7-8 hours a night in order to feel well-rested in the morning
3. Purchase more natural foods when grocery shopping

Officer safety and wellness is the number one priority of the IACP. Because of its significance to the IACP’s core principles, the Center for Officer Safety and Wellness was created to emphasize the values of safety, health, and wellness as they pertain to officer performance on duty. One objective of the Center is to provide the guidance and tools necessary to promote an emphasis on the importance of officer physical fitness.

The IACP partnered with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop the Reducing Officer Injuries Report, a 12-month injury tracking study that evaluated 18 diverse police departments across the country to establish an understanding of the scope of prevalent officer injuries. Two key findings from the final report concluded that those who participate in fitness training were less likely to have severe injuries, and those who reported a healthy weight missed almost half as many days of work following an injury than those who were considered overweight.

It is the IACP’s position that no injury to or death of a law enforcement professional is acceptable. The IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness strives to improve awareness on all aspects of officer safety, health, and wellness. Please feel free to contact the Center at officersafety@theiacp.org and let us know what well-being means to you.

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One Response to The Importance of Physical Well-Being to Law Enforcement

  1. CK says:

    I try and eat as good as I can, both at work and at home, and stay away from the “junk” as much as possible. But working 12 hour shifts, living 30 minutes away from home each way, and raising two children with another grown and on his own, makes the other two difficult, even though I’d LOVE to have the time to exercise properly AND sleep 7 hours per night.

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