The comfort and functional performance of personal protective equipment for police officers: A systematic scoping review

Sean Hudson, Leanne Ridland, Jo Blackburn, Leanne Monchuk, Karen Ousey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This scoping review aimed to identify and summarise evidence on the comfort and functional performance of police officer personal protective equipment (PPE). The Arksey and O’Malley (2005) five-stage framework for scoping reviews was followed. PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched, and 35 articles were included in the review. The findings show that increased police PPE mass increases heart rate, metabolic energy expenditure, and perceived exertion in response to exercise. Unisex armour designs cause increased discomfort for females with larger bra sizes. PPE reduces joint-specific range of motion, with the design and location impairing movement more than mass. Jumping and sprinting performance is decreased with heavy PPE but unaffected by lighter protection, while agility is compromised with most forms of protection. Future research is needed on the fit and function of PPE for specialist police units, such as mounted police, along with further investigations on how fit can affect functional performance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Early online date24 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2024

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