Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Research in Sports Medicine


Taylor & Francis


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute / Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Edith Cowan University Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute [G1006008] / Western Australian Police Force [G1006008] / Western Australian Defence Science Centre on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation [G1005141]


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in RESEARCH IN SPORTS MEDICINE on 25/10/2023, available online:

Murphy, M. C., Merrick, N., Mosler, A. B., Allen, G., Chivers, P., & Hart, N. H. (2022). Cardiorespiratory fitness is a risk factor for lower-limb and back injury in law enforcement officers commencing their basic training: A prospective cohort study. Research in Sports Medicine. Advance online publication.


We aimed to report the epidemiology of lower-limb and lumbosacral injuries in Police Force recruits. We performed a cohort study of Police Force recruits undergoing a six-month training program with prospective injury data collected between 2018 and 2021. Cardiorespiratory fitness was quantified by the beep-test and police-specific-functional-capacity was quantified using a specifically designed physical performance evaluation (PPE) tool. Injury frequency and prevalence were reported. Fifteen percent (n = 180) of study Police Force recruits (n = 1,181) sustained a lower-limb or lumbosacral injury. The six-month training program significantly improved cardiorespiratory fitness (p < 0.001) and functional capacity (p < 0.001). Increased cardiorespiratory fitness at baseline decreased injury risk (OR = 0.8, 95%CI: 0.66–0.97, p = 0.019). Injury rates decreased over time and females were injured significantly earlier than males (HR = 0.70, 95%CI: 0.52 to 0.95, p = 0.021). Interventions that can pre-condition Police Force recruits prior to the commencement of their basic physical training may reduce the number of lower-limb and lumbosacral injuries.



Available for download on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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