Play For Life Foundation

First Responders & Law Enforcement


According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study, firefighters are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with invasive cancer than the average person. Firefighters commonly come into contact with dangerous, cancer-causing materials when they fight a fire. Firefighters who smoke or engage in other unhealthy lifestyle habits are at even a greater risk.

The key fitness components for firefighting are aerobic (long-term) endurance, muscular strength, muscular (short-term) endurance and flexibility. Optimum physical fitness for firefighters translates into being able to carry out firefighting activities successfully and without undue fatigue.

A firefighter needs to be physically strong, flexible and have muscular endurance to work effectively. Fitness is also important to combat fatigue. In a typical night shift, a firefighter may attend numerous fires and needs to be able to cope with tiredness on a regular basis.

“Keeping fit and strong while using an ergonomic approach as much as possible will help reduce the incidence and severity of strains and sprains. It is estimated that it is 34% cheaper to fund a department Fitness program than continue to pay for time lost, medical and staff replacement costs. (Bly, JL, Jones, RC, & Richardson, JE (1986).”

Rates of Obesity:

Rates of overweight and obese individuals in the fire service are higher than those found in the general public, ranging from 73 percent to 88 percent of firefighters. According to the CDC, there is a high correlation of obesity as firefighters get older. Our goal is to provide a healthy exercise to keep all ages physically fit. With pickleball, you can grab a paddle and play it at any stage of life. Pickleball gives you a good aerobic workout without as much stress and strain on joints and muscles.


Law enforcement officers are working hard to maintain public order and safety. They are required to be alert and physically fit in the event that they have to enforce the law and prevent criminal activities. Physical fitness has a direct impact on job performance. Based on job descriptions, a core list of physical tasks required to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer were identified. These tasks were identified as running, climbing, jumping, lifting/carrying, dragging, pushing, and use of force 

Physical fitness can also protect officers from becoming victims: offenders hesitate to challenge officers who appear fit. This one example alone establishes fitness and wellness programs in law enforcement agencies as paramount. By implementing an exercise program, law enforcement agencies reduce their liability by ensuring officers are prepared to handle tasks while controlling the possible risks and their associated costs therefore reducing crime and contributing to safer communities (Quigley, 2008).

After academy, officers are left to train their bodies to be ready for the job. Pickleball is a great way to keep in shape and socialize with others. Because of the nature of an officer’s job, they often see a lot of traumatizing situations. Getting out there and playing with others help’s relieve some of the stress that is attributed to their line of duty.

Donate to support our First responders & Law enforcement

At the Play For Life Foundation, our Club-N-Box can make a difference. A Club-N-Box contains nets, paddles, balls, and instructional material on how to play and setup a court. Getting firefighters and law enforcement officers involved and exercising consistently through pickleball will lead to significant health benefits for both their physical and mental wellbeing.

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