Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Ronald Snarr

Committee Member 1

Bridget Melton

Committee Member 2

Greg Ryan

Abstract

Many occupational tasks associated with firefighting require a great deal of cardiovascular and muscular demands. However, it is often noted that firefighters throughout the country are not meeting the fitness levels required of the profession. As a result, the proportion of on-duty injury and cardiac death is greater than the general population or similar service professions. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide an extensive physiological profile of rural firefighters in southeast Georgia. Methods: Forty firefighters from one department in southeast Georgia underwent a comprehensive health screening, measuring anthropometrics (i.e., height, weight, waist and hip circumference), body composition, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, lower-body power, resting heart rate, blood pressure, and pulmonary function. Additionally, blood glucose and cholesterol were obtained via blood sample. Results: The overall group mean for estimated VO2max fell below the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guideline for minimal cardiorespiratory fitness (≥ 42.0 ml/kg/min). Only 35% of the firefighters had an estimated VO2max that met this threshold. Based on group means compared to ACSM norms, the firefighters fell into the overweight category for both BMI and BF%. Upper body muscular strength of the group was considered classified as fair, whereas, lower-body strength was well-above average. Muscular endurance and flexibility were classified in the good category. Lastly, this sample demonstrated elevated LDL concentration and prehypertension. Conclusions: Firefighters from this region displayed a similar health status to those from previous studies, advocating the necessity of fitness standards in the fire service. It is possible that exercise training may help improve weight status, cardiorespiratory fitness, and upper-body strength, as well as reduce LDL concentration and prehypertension among this population.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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