Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Bridget Melton

Committee Member 1

Gregory Grosicki

Committee Member 2

Haresh Rochani


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of on-duty death among firefighters, with the vast majority of these events surrounding fire suppression activities. Elevated arterial stiffness, which has been demonstrated as an independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, among firefighters can be a potential contributor to the high rates of CVD related events surrounding this population. Little research has been conducted on cardiorespiratory fitness and arterial stiffness levels in firefighters. Therefore, it was our goal to examine the association between arterial stiffness and cardiorespiratory fitness in a population of firefighters. METHODS: Twenty male firefighters (34±8 yrs) participated in a standardized fire simulation training exercise. Cardiovascular measurements including heart rate, brachial and aortic blood pressure, arterial stiffness (cf-PWV), and augmentation index (AIx) were assessed and compared before and after the fire simulation training. Associations between cf-PWV and AI (resting and change (Δ) following the fire simulation) with cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) were assessed using linear regression models. RESULTS: VO2max was inversely associated with cf-PWV (p < 0.01) and AIx (p < 0.05). Additionally, VO2max was positively associated (p0.05). For every increase in VO2max by 1 mL/kg/min, cf-PWV saw a reduction of 0.084 m/s (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In firefighters, cardiorespiratory fitness appears to protect against arterial stiffness. Future studies to determine the long-term implications of acute changes in arterial stiffness, which were positively related to cardiorespiratory fitness, are needed.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material