The Surgeon General's Report has emphasized the value of moderate intensity aerobic work in improving cardiovascular fitness. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends regular resistive exercises be completed at least twice weekly. Research has shown that firefighters require a high degree of aerobic conditioning as well as muscular strength and flexibility. However, descriptive studies show that many firefighter populations do not meet the recommended fitness levels. The purpose of this study was to determine whether 120 days of moderate aerobic activity and regular resistive exercise improved the aerobic capacity, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition of professional firefighters. The participants trained aerobically for 30 minutes every work shift at an intensity of 40-60% of predicted maximal oxygen uptake. The beginning work load was based on the results of the pretest. The session was followed by 30 minutes of resistance work on eight different exercises. Shift scheduling dictated that individuals trained 3 days one week and 2 days the next week throughout 120 day period. Seventy five males began the study and 40 completed the training protocol. The mean age was 36 years. The before and after data were compared using dependent t tests. (Table)
The results show statistically significant improvement for all variables. The data suggest moderate work and regular activity can improve fitness in professional firefighters.
American College of Sports Medicine; 46th Annual Meeting; Washington State; Convention & Trade Center; June 2-5, 1999
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G-38 POSTER OCCUPA PHYSIOLOGY & MED