SWEATING IT OUT. In this file photo, police officers in North Cotabato plant trees as part of a wellness program that seeks to encourage health and fitness. Aside from tree-planting, the province's policemen are also into “Zumba” and sports activities to lose weight and meet the Philippine National Police’s body mass index requirement. (Photo courtesy of NoCot PPO)

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- More than 500 police officers assigned in North Cotabato police provincial office and municipal police stations are now undergoing strict physical fitness exercises to reduce weight and achieve the Philippine National Police’s average body mass index (BMI).

Interviewed over Church-run Radio DXND-Kidapawan, Lt. Col. Bernard Tayong, speaking for the North Cotabato police office, said the 549 overweight police officers are engaged in daily “Zumba” activities and a sports fest for them to remain fit and snappy.

Of the total number, 150 police officers were found to be “obese” and are undergoing rigid training, exercises, sports, and daily jogging activities.

“The Zumba and other massive physical exercises are part of our effort to ensure that all of us are not only mentally sound but also physically fit,” Tayong said.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. It is computed by dividing a person’s weight expressed in kilograms by a person’s height in meters squared (or multiplying the height by itself), or BMI= kg/m².

“For example, if a police officer’s weight is 60 kilos and his height is 1.65 meters (5’5” inches), the BMI is 22.06 and classified as in a normal weight category,” Tayong said.

A person’s BMI of less than 18.5 is underweight while those with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 are normal.

A person is overweight if the BMI is between 25-29.9 and obese if his BMI is more than 30.

Tayong said aside from exercises, police officers are also engaged in other activities that encourage law enforcers to become physically fit like tree planting.

“A police officer maintains good health if he does regular exercises and may qualify for school if he meets the BMI requirement and eventually a rank promotion,” Tayong said. (PNA)