Year of Publication

2010

Date of Thesis

08-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Abstract

This study examined the energy expenditure and heart rate of structural firefighters. Subjects included nine (N=9) full-time firefighters from Ithaca, NY, ranging in age from 21-48 years. All subjects completed four test days. Test day 1 included measurement of VO2max and anthropometric data. During test days 2-4, activity count to estimate energy expenditure (EE) and heart rate (HR) were measured simultaneously using an Actiheart Monitor. During each shift (test days 2-4), subjects were required to document all activity at 15 minute increments. Activities were subsequently classified as emergency response (ER), simulation training (ST) or other shift activities (SA), and were synchronized with the activity count and heart rate data from the Actiheart. A 3x2 repeated measures ANOVA compared heart rate and activity count between ER and SA during the three test days. Data during ST was captured on only one firefighter therefore ST data was not included in the statistical analysis due to small sample size. As expected, mean HR was significantly higher during ER compared to SA. Surprisingly, EE during SA was significantly higher than EE during ER. The large difference could be due to the variety and intensity of tasks completed during SA and the amount of time during those activities. Accurate exercise prescription is essential to meet the physiological demands of the profession. Physical demands affect job performance and ultimately public safety. Shift activities like truck checks and truck washing should be considered when prescribing exercise to this population.

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