To examine associations among objectively measured physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in firefighters.
Career firefighters (n = 29; male = 100%) wore accelerometers to assess PA. BMI and WC classified obesity. Each participant completed a stage-graded exercise test to determine maximal oxygen uptake (
Two linear regression models were used to investigate whether PA intensities, step count, BMI, or WC were predictive of “true”
. Vigorous physical activity (VPA) was predictive of “true”
(F[1,27] = 7.89, R2 = 0.23, P < 0.01). Additionally, when BMI and WC were added, only WC was predictive of “true”
(F[1,27] = 11.76, R2 = 0.30, P < 0.01).
Fire departments should be cognizent of ways to increase PA levels, decrease excess weight gain, and maintain CRF to adequately perform job-specific tasks.
Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas (Dr Barry); Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences (Dr Barry, Dr Lyman, Dr Dicks, Ms Landin, Dr Hackney); Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Exercise Science, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota (Dr Dicks); Department of Human Development and Family Science (Dr McGeorge), North Dakota State University, Fargo; Department of Education, Health, and Behavior Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks (Dr Walch), North Dakota.
Address correspondence to: Allison M. Barry, PhD, Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Pittsburg State University, 1701 S Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sources of Funding: The Innovative Student Research Award from the Northland Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine supported this work.
Conflict of Interest: None declared.
Clinical Significance: Firefighters attained roughly 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 17% were classified as obese; thus, increasing vigorous physical activity and decreasing waist circumference should be emphasized to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. An emphasis to increase physical activity for firefighters should be highlighted as a key factor for increasing overall health.