Low Back Pain Among RCMP Officers


  1. Kumar, S.
  2. Narayan, Y.
Corporate Authors
Alberta Univ, Edmonton AB (CAN) Dept of Physical Therapy;Canadian Police Research Centre, Ottawa Ont (CAN)
In the current contract, the three factors identified for their possible association with low back pain in RCMP force were investigated with a view to discerning their possible role and proposing strategies to minimize their impact. These factors were car seats, duty belts, and foot wear. Four makes of vehicles which are currently used by RCMP (Suburban, Crown Victoria, Lumina and Caprice) were studied. Other than Suburban, all other makes and models had significant constraints which necessitated considerable postural stress for RCMP constables during ingress and egress. Furthermore, they exposed the constables to low frequency vibration (2-3Hz) which are reported to be significantly injurious. The backrests of the seats were largely unusable due to the distribution of equipment on the duty belts. Recommendations have been made for the use of a gel cushion, adjustable seat and back support to eliminate some of these problems. For investigation on duty belts and boots, three male and three female constables were studied in the Ergonomics Research Laboratory of the University of Alberta. Within each gender, a small, a medium, and a large sized constable was tested. The testing involved measurement of effects of boots and duty belt on posture and flexibility of the constables. The biomechanical loads on the constable's spine were also determined. Though there was a small effect of wearing boots on the posture and biomechanical load on spine, it was marginal. The duty belt did no
Police -- Health and hygiene;Police -- Health risk assessment;Backache;Police -- Equipment and supplies;Royal Canadian Mounted Police -- Officials and employees
Report Number
HV7936.H4;TR-01-1999E;TR-01-99 — Technical report
Date of publication
01 Sep 1999
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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