Excessive Sitting – A Tactical Performance Problem

by Tunde Szivak, PhD, CSCS,*D, David Boland, and Michael Kamal, MEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D
TSAC Report January 2022
Vol 62, Issue 1


Tactical professionals are often met with jobs that require long periods of sedentary time. This article provides practical strategies for how to minimize the negative impact of chronic sitting for the tactical professional.


Tactical professions often have heavy physical demands despite frequent periods of inactivity and sedentary off-duty time (1,2). This unique scenario, termed the sedentary-active paradox, is exacerbated by a lack of targeted physical fitness training or tactical occupational tasks that are relatively low in physical demand, such as office work, sitting in a patrol vehicle, or supervising inmates (2,3). Within tactical professions, periods of inactivity, or chronic sitting, are as prevalent as they are in the broader adult population. Research has shown a doubling of obesity rates among military and veteran populations from 2001 – 2007, and obesity rates as high as 40% have been reported among police officers (4,5,6,7). These figures mirror obesity rates among the general adult population in the United States (8). The results of long periods of sedentary time include increased prevalence of health concerns, increased injury risk with physical activity, decreased ability to tolerate occupational demands, and decreased longevity in the profession (9). Because chronic sitting and sedentary time are invariably linked, an understanding of the effects of sitting on the neuromuscular system and occupational task performance is necessary, as is knowledge of practical strategies to minimize the negative impact of chronic sitting for the tactical professional.

This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 



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About the author

Tunde K. Szivak, PhD, CSCS,*D

Educator, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, United States

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Tunde Szivak is an Assistant Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. She earned her PhD in Kinesiology f ...

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Michael P. Kamal, MED,CSCSD

Strength & Conditioning Coach, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, United States

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Michael Kamal is the Assistant Athletic Director and Director for Strength and Conditioning at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. He is a 2017 fi ...

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