Police officer in-vehicle discomfort: appointments carriage method and vehicle seat features


Musculoskeletal pain is commonly reported by police officers. A potential cause of officer discomfort is a mismatch between vehicle seats and the method used for carrying appointments. Twenty-five police officers rated their discomfort while seated in: (1) a standard police vehicle seat, and (2) a vehicle seat custom-designed for police use. Discomfort was recorded in both seats while wearing police appointments on: (1) a traditional appointments belt, and (2) a load-bearing vest/belt combination (LBV). Sitting in the standard vehicle seat and carrying appointments on a traditional appointments belt were both associated with significantly elevated discomfort. Four vehicle seat features were most implicated as contributing to discomfort: back rest bolster prominence; lumbar region support; seat cushion width; and seat cushion bolster depth. Authorising the carriage of appointments using a LBV is a lower cost solution with potential to reduce officer discomfort. Furthermore, the introduction of custom-designed vehicle seats should be considered.

Applied ergonomics