Other Subject Area

Pedagogy; Public Health


International Journal of Exercise Science 17(3): 298-307, 2024. First responders require physical fitness to perform dangerous tasks in unpredictable environments. To promote physical fitness among first responders, many agencies use a peer fitness leader (PFL) approach; however, resources for the fitness, wellness, and health of PFLs are often minimal. This study’s purpose was to investigate the effectiveness of a training workshop to increase PFL’s training knowledge and coaching comfort (CC). Thirty-six PFLs (Experience: 14.6 ± 9.1 yrs; Age: 41.0 ± 9.8 yrs; BMI: 28.9 ± 7.0 kg·m-2) attended a one-day workshop. Paired samples t-tests assessed for differences between baseline and post-assessment knowledge scores. Pearson correlations described the bivariate relationship between baseline and post-assessment knowledge scores. Wilcoxon’s Signed Rank Test determined associations between baseline and post-workshop CC variables. Spearman’s Rho correlations described bivariate relationships between baseline and post-assessment values for each CC category. Kendall’s Rank correlations investigated relationships between knowledge scores and total perceived CC for pre- and post-workshops. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results indicated an improvement from the baseline knowledge score (6.08 ± 1.46 points) and post-workshop knowledge score (7.03 ± 0.94 points); (t (25) = 3.85; p < 0.001). Similar trends were observed for all CC measures (Z > -3.42; p < 0.001). Differences were not observed between pre-workshop total CC and knowledge scores (τ = -0.03; p = 0.81) or following workshop completion (τ = -0.04; p = 0.76). Participants demonstrated varying exercise knowledge and CC, highlighting inconsistencies in exercise standards within first responder occupations. This investigation suggests the proposed pedagogy design may be a solution for agencies with limited budgets.