The feasibility of using real-time, objective measurements of physiological stress among law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Law enforcement officers (LEOs) suffer from premature mortality, intentional and unintentional injury, suicide and are at an increased risk for several non-communicable disease outcomes including cardiovascular disease and several cancers, compared to those employed in other occupations. Repeated exposure to stressful and traumatic stimuli is a possible mechanism driving these adverse health outcomes among LEOs. To better identify the sources of these health problems, the purpose of this paper is to determine the feasibility of conducting a cohort study using physiological measures of stress (e.g. heart rate) with LEOs; perceptions of the FitBit device, including LEO buy-in and attitudes associated with the protocol. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from ten recent graduates of the Dallas Police Training Academy. Findings: Results suggest that officer buy-in and protocol compliance was high. Officers were eager to participate in this study, and completion of weekly surveys was 100 percent. Minute-level missing data from wearable devices was relatively low (25 percent), and 90 percent of participants wore the FitBit devices on more than 90 percent of study days. Originality/value: Results from this study suggest that wearable physiological devices can be effectively used in law enforcement populations to measure stress.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Reingle Gonzalez JM; Jetelina KK; Bishopp SA; Livingston MD; Perez RA; Gabriel KP
  • Start Page

  • 701
  • End Page

  • 710
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 4