Profile of Self-Reported Physical Tasks and Physical Training in Brazilian Special Operations Units: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 29;17(19):7135. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17197135.


There is limited research examining the physical tasks that Brazilian special policemen groups can perform in the line of duty. The aims of this study were to (a) identify the occupational tasks of specialist police personnel serving in the Rapid Response Group (GRR) and Tactical Operations Command (COT), and to profile the frequency, difficulty, and importance of these tasks, and (b) to explore the current physical training these special operations police units (SOPUs) officers undertake to maintain their operational fitness. Univariate analysis for numerical variables (mean and standard deviation (SD)), as well as the absolute and relative frequencies for categorical variables were performed. Two Brazilian SOPUs performed a questionnaire with demographic, performance, and physical training sections. A total of 78 respondents (24 of the GRR and 54 of the COT) completed the survey. "Standing and/or sitting with complete equipment for long periods in different climatic conditions", and "lifting/pushing/pulling heavier objects" were the most frequent and difficult occupational tasks of both SOPUs, respectively. "Shooting a long weapon" and "breaking a door" were the most important for GRR and COT, respectively. All officers undertook regular physical training (~9 h/week), in an unstructured manner, without supervision, and planning of physical training is carried out autonomously (COT) or a mixture of autonomously and directed (GRR), with the main objectives of developing aerobic endurance and muscle strength. It is important that SOPUs teams train their members' physical capabilities to perform the tasks identified in this study, as well as follow a structured, supervised, and planned physical training program.

Keywords: job performance; police officers; questionnaire.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Physical Conditioning, Human*
  • Physical Education and Training / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Police / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Report