Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
MINAYO, Maria Cecília de Souza; ASSIS, Simone Gonçalves de and OLIVEIRA, Raquel Vasconcellos Carvalhaes de. The impact of professional activities on the physical and mental health of the civil and military police of Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brazil). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.4, pp.2199-2209. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000400019.
In this article, we analyze the physical and mental stress and illness of military and civil police force officers in the State of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) due to their working conditions and professional activities. The same methodology was used for the study of two categories, namely a quantitative approach (simple random sampling by conglomerates, involving a total of 1,458 civil police officers and 1,108 military police officers, who answered questionnaires anonymously) and a qualitative approach (focal groups involving 143 professionals and 18 interviews with managers of both police forces). The data presented here are all original. Disorders identified were: overweight and obesity in both forces but mainly in the Military Police; low frequency of physical exercise and high levels of cholesterol, especially in the Civil Police. The main health complaints are neck, back or spinal cord pain, eyesight complaints and headaches/ migraines. Sixteen point two per cent of officers of both forces reported physical lesions that were more prevalent in the Military Police, among whom psychic suffering was also more frequent (SRQ20). The need for changes in the individual and professional dimensions and in institutional aspects regarding the conditions and organization of work and of health services is emphasized.
Keywords : Health of police officers; Work and health; Work and mental health.