Title: A retrospective evaluation of physical fitness maintenance in members of a southeastern US city professional firefighting department

Authors: Cody E. Morris; Danilo V. Tolusso; Scott W. Arnett

Addresses: Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1150 10th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA ' School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA ' School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to retrospectively assess and track the annual physical fitness performance of the members of a professional firefighting department. As part of the annual health and fitness testing (data from 2002-2017), 153 firefighters had their physical fitness evaluated using standardised and recommended protocols published by the International Association of Fire Fighters. Handgrip strength performance exhibited a significant decline from baseline (p < .05). Static arm pull and static leg pull performance as well as flexibility were slightly improved and largely able to be maintained throughout the length of the study (p > .05) until the final years (p < .05). Neither push-up nor plank hold performance significantly changed from baseline (p > .05). Based on these findings, the proposed 30-minute exercise requirement does not appear to provide a stimulus to offset declines in all fitness variables.

Keywords: firefighting; physical fitness; strength and conditioning; first responder; health-related fitness; field-testing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2021.10039171

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2021 Vol.8 No.3, pp.261 - 276

Received: 30 Oct 2020
Accepted: 15 Mar 2021

Published online: 08 Oct 2021 *

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