One of the major kinds of stress among members of the military has been established to be body-armor related stress.
Those who put on the body armour on a regular basis in their line of work are the most affected. Military personnel, police officers (riot police in particular), private security guards or bodyguards, and occasionally ordinary civilians. The army uses some form of body armor as part of its personal protection system worldwide. This is particularly important in recent times as weapons used in modern warfare become more sophisticated and as new methods of fighting (such as the increased use of improvised explosive devices) have emerged.
Guardian Outfitters offers a wide range of bulletproof vest and tactical gears, picking the right body armor to reduce stress related issues is a frustrating battle of tricky tradeoffs. Steel plates usually stop one type of common AR-15 round but not the other, while ceramic plates do the inverse. Steel plates are thin but heavy. Ceramic and plastic plates are light but thick.
There are, however, some evidence that the use of military armor weakens physical performance. The article focuses on how to control this armor-related stress.
Some of the ways to avoid body-amour related stress include:
- Always stay hydrated
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques;
- Regular exercise.
- Eat healthy, nutritious food.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Using the right body armour
We’ll be looking at all these and in better detail throughout this article.
Benefits of Body Armour
Body armor is one of the primary protective devices of the police. Military personnel have used various types of materials throughout recorded history to protect themselves against injury during combat. This protective clothing (or body armor) has progressed from the primary protection of leather to complete armor suits, mails and ballistic clothes which are more recent.
Although the primary objective of body armor developers was formerly to produce stack and bulletproof materials, the ever more sophisticated weapons used during modern warfare encourage the need for an even greater degree of protection for the military.
Since the advent of modern protective body armor, a number of epidemiological studies have shown a substantial reduction in the number of fatal thoracic and abdominal injuries incurred during conflict situations. The use of body armor has also significantly reduced the lethality of gunshot wounds.
How Does Body Armour Cause Stress?
Due to the weight of the body armour, it has been hypothesized that the wearing of body armor can alter soldier’s movement patterns, increase joint stress and potentially increase their risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries.
Impact of Body Armour on Stress Levels
In fact, more than 3,100 police officers have been saved from assaults with and without weapons, and in car accidents since contemporary police body armor was put into practice during the 1970s. Body armor more than triple’s the likelihood that a law enforcement officer will survive a shooting to the torso.
However, body armor still has a lot of problems. For example, it is non-fitting, heavy, non-breathable, and only protects vital areas. Consequently, body armor has caused both physical pain and negative psychological consequences (fear of injuries of unprotected body parts) but Body armor built with hydro solar solutions can be more comfortable, light weight and also helps to relieve stress.
While uniformed officers and soldiers have to wear body armor in their day-to-day tasks, no studies have ever investigated how body armor users cope with body armor difficulties to reduce negative effects. Furthermore, research on this theme has mainly been carried out with hypothetical consumers instead of real users, despite their interest for armor. For example, studies collected data from volunteers who imitated military activities and discovered body armor problems.
This approach might have some limitations because volunteers were not real users and the activities could not follow strict military standards. This resulted in some studies concluding unexpected results.
For example, one study proposed that one problem with body armor was heaviness and therefore soldiers who carry a heavy weight for a longer time would be more tired. The results indicated no difference in fatigue between a 2-hour task and a 21-hour task when volunteers carried the same weight. The reason might be because the volunteers could not have been forced to constantly carry a heavy weight for 21 hours and rest, sleep and recover their energy. Without real body armor users, it is difficult to make valid and reliable generalization. Therefore, research studies should be conducted on real users, because the real users have more experience with the product and can give comprehensive feedback.
How to Get Rid of Body Armour Related Stress
Always Stay Hydrated
In order to maintain thermal homeostasis, the human body must maintain a reasonably stable core body temperature around ~37 Degrees Celsius (ºC). Sustaining this core body temperature involves the integration of both behavioural responses and autonomic systems to transfer this heat into the environment. The rate and overall capacity of this heat transfer is dependent upon several factors namely the environment, metabolic rate and clothing worn. So the body armour increases body temperature and causes heat stress and we can deal with this by always staying hydrated. Taking lots of water helps deal with the stress.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques
Try meditation or yoga, for stress management.
Your body can fight stress better when it is fit and makes you more balanced when it comes to bearing the weight of the body armour.
Eat Healthy, Nutritious food
Avoid junk. There is a need to eat a healthy and well balanced diet which helps build the body immunity and makes one stronger. There are certain foods that fortify the immune system and help fight against stress. These include:
- Herbal tea
- Dark chocolate
- Whole grains and high-fiber foods such as whole rye, buckwheat and brown rice
- Warm milk etc.
Iron Berry contain natural and wild health food supplements full of antioxidants and helps boost your immune system Starting with wild berries known as some of the healthiest in the world, combined with fresh artesian mineral water, or even 15,000 year old iceberg water.
Get Enough Rest and Sleep
Your body needs time to recover from stressful events so there is a need to get enough rest which would go a long way in creating a balance.
Keep a Positive Attitude Towards the Job
Developing a positive attitude towards stress helps your body respond better in stressful situations. Even as it makes you go through the stress of always wearing a body armour, there is a need to love your job because, that would serve as a motivation and at the same time help you have a positive mindset towards the job. If you love the job, the stress would be worth it
Use the Right Body Amour
This is a factor that should be considered, as stress research has shown that the wearing of body armor decreases the balance of the person wearing it. In addition, body armor can seriously hinder other occupation related activities. The results in past military research show significant effects of body armor on pace and the impact of load-incited blisters.
These findings are supported further. Body armour may contribute to development of musculoskeletal injury and chronic low back pain. So the best way to deal with this is given the physical performance and biomechanical impacts on the wearer, body armour should be carefully selected, with consideration of the physical fitness of the wearers and the degree to which the armour systems can be ergonomically optimized for the specific population in question.
Dealing with body-armor related stress effectively demands a combination of these tips. Without a wholesome approach to dealing with this kind of stress, the effects worsen over time. So, start implementing these tips and watch your stress levels dip and your general health status take a turn for the better.