Physical Agility Test

DEKALB COUNTY PRE-EMPLOYMENT PHYSICAL AGILITY TEST FOR POLICE OFFICERS

The Physical agility test is designed to determine one’s level of physical fitness. A police officer candidate must demonstrate a minimum fitness level prior to being hired. Physical fitness will be measured by participating in five job-related exercises.

  1. 440 yard distance run
  2. Sit-ups
  3. Push-ups
  4. Obstacle course
  5. Sit-and-reach flexibility test

The 440 yard distance run is a timed run which measures the heart and vascular systems’ capability to transport oxygen.  It is an important area for performing police tasks involving stamina and endurance and to minimize the risk of cardiovascular problems.  The score is measured in minutes and seconds.

Sit-ups measure muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles.  It is an important area for performing police tasks that may involve the use of force and is an important area for maintaining good posture and minimizing lower back problems.  The score is the number of bent leg sit-ups performed in one minute.

Push-ups measure the amount of force the upper body can generate.  It is an important area for performing police tasks that may involve the use of force.  The score is in the number of correctly performed push-ups in one minute.  A correctly performed push-up is defined as the body being straight with one’s weight being supported on one’s hands and feet.  Hands should be just outside the shoulders, fingers straight ahead and feet close together.  The body is lowered until the chest barely touches the floor.  The head must remain up, body straight, and the buttocks should not be raised nor should the abdomen be allowed to sag.  The arms must then be fully straightened to lift the body to the starting position to complete one push-up.

The obstacle course involves running through a series of obstacles, crawling through a small opening, dragging a 110 pound dummy, and scaling a five-foot chain link fence (using only hands and/or feet to scale fence, not rolling over a fence.)  It is an important area for police tasks involving endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance.  The score is measured in seconds.

The sit-and-reach flexibility test measures the flexibility of the lower back and upper leg area.  It is an important area for performing police tasks involving range of motion and is important in minimizing lower back problems.  The test involves sitting on the floor, knees locked, back of the thighs touching the floor and stretching out (not lunging) to touch the toes or beyond with extended arms.  The bottoms of one’s feet are placed parallel against a flat surface.  The score is measured in inches reached on a yardstick with 10 inches being at the toes.

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

The actual performance requirement for each exercise is based upon norms.  The required performance to pass each exercise is based upon sex and age.  While the absolute performance is different across different sex and age categories, the relative level of effort is identical for each sex and age group.  Candidates must meet or exceed minimum performance standards on each of the five exercises in order to pass the Physical Agility Test.

The following table outlines minimum performance standards by sex and age for each of the five exercises.

  Exercises

20-29 

20-29 

30-39

30-39

40 & Above

40 & Above

   

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

  440 Yard Distance Run
(time in min./sec.)

1:20

1:35

1:28

1:45

1:41

2:01

 

Sit-ups
(number per minute)

24

24

21

21

17

17

 

Push-ups (number per minute)

21

9

18

7

15

5

 

Obstacle Course (time
in seconds)

15:40

18:70

16.94

20.57

19.48

23.66

 

Sit and Reach (inches past toes)

.5

.75

.5

.75

.25

.5

TEST PREPARATION

  1. 440-Yard Distance Run – Equal to one lap on a running track.  First walk around track then gradually combine walking and running to complete one lap.  Finally run around track without stopping.
     
  2. Sit-ups – Do as many bent leg sit-ups (hands behind head) as possible in one minute.  Repeat three times.  Perform three times per week.
     
  3. Push-ups – Determine maximum bench press weight, take 60 percent of that figure and do three sets of 8-10 repetitions.  Add   two and a half to five pounds weekly.  Or determine the number of correctly performed push-ups you can do in one minute.  Repeat three times.  Perform three times per week.
     
  4. Obstacle Course – Performing the practice tests outlined for the other four exercises will develop the strength, stamina, and flexibility necessary to pass the obstacle course.
     
  5. Sit-and-Reach – Use sit-ups routine outlined above.  Also perform actual sit-and-reach exercise: sit on floor with legs straight, extend forward at waist, extend fingertips toward toes and hold position for 10 seconds. Do five repetitions, three times per week.