Modern life, which is characterised by automation and mechanisation, causes laziness and inactivity in people all over the world. It in essence deprives one of movement, which negatively affects man and his body. Chronic illnesses caused by an inactive lifestyle lead to unnecessary deaths, which again impacts negatively on the community as a whole. The South African Police Service (SAPS) has far from escaped this worldwide phenomenon. It is, in fact, experiencing an abnormally high death rate, which can be linked directly to police officers’ lifestyle. This study has proven that the average police officer is in extremely poor physical condition, and that this is in all probability the cause of the unusually high natural death rate as well as the high incidence of suicide among SAPS members. The primary objective of this study is the justification of a physical maintenance programme for law enforcement officers. For this programme to be successful, it has to: (i) be relatively inexpensive and provide easily accessible facilities; (ii) be in line with critical physical job requirements; (iii) contribute directly to the maintenance of job-oriented fitness; (iv) include a section that is solely tasked with the physical maintenance of the officers; and (v) form part of the SAPS’s policy on sport. The results of this study show the dire necessity of the immediate implementation by SAPS management of the suggested physical maintenance programme.
Thesis (DPhil (Human Movement Science))--University of Pretoria, 2003.