Law enforcement officers frequently suffer from excessive fatigue, sleep disturbances, and other health problems associated with shift work and long working hours. The literature on tired officers is unequivocal: fatigued officers use more sick-leave, engage in the inappropriate use of force more frequently, experience more motor vehicle accidents and accidental injuries, and have a higher likelihood of dying in the line of duty. There currently exist very few interventions to support law enforcement in managing the health and safety burdens of shift work. Web-based workforce health interventions have shown considerable promise for improving employee health. Consistent with current trends in law enforcement training, web-based interventions provide a practical and cost-effective approach to reaching large numbers of officers working various schedules. The overall goal of this Fast-Track project is to develop and test a web-based program designed specifically to help law enforcement officers address the health and lifestyle challenges associated with shift work: sleep hygiene, nutrition, and physical activity. Not only are each of these behaviors independently impacted by shift work, but they are mutually interrelated, and therefore logically addressed with a holistic approach. In Phase I, a prototype will be developed and a feasibility test will be conducted. In Phase II, the full program will be developed and tested in a randomized controlled trial with 300 law enforcement officers of the Baltimore County Police Department. The final program will be marketed to law enforcement agencies through the concentrated efforts by ISA's Center for Workforce Health in [partnership with the Virginia Police Benevolent Association and the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center.]
Law enforcement officers frequently suffer from excessive fatigue, sleep disturbances, and other health and safety concerns associated with shift work and long working hours. There currently exist very few interventions designed to help law enforcement officers adapt to the physiological and lifestyle challenges of shift work. The aim of this project is to develop and test an interactive, web- based program that will help officers cope with shift work by addressing the primary health concerns associated with non-traditional work schedules: sleep hygiene, nutrition, and physical activity. An effective intervention will improve the health and performance of law enforcement officers, thereby benefitting the more than 700,000 officers in the U.S. as well as the communities they serve.