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Andrew Mangan1, Blake Landon1, Ryan Warner1, Davis Hale1, Roger Kollock1, Gabriel Sanders2, Will Peveler3, 1University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma; 2Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky; 3Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Many municipalities require their career firefighters maintain an aerobic capacity of ≥42 ml/kg-1/min-1.Assessing aerobic capacity in a laboratory setting is the preferred method. However, feasibility of laboratory testing for large municipal fire departments can be difficult. Submaximal field tests of aerobic capacity may provide fire departments an alternative for testing true peak VO2 in a laboratory setting. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess potential differences in aerobic capacity between a maximal laboratory test anda submaximal field test in career firefighters. METHODS: Following IRB approval, 18career male firefighters(age 35.21±8.38 yrs.) completed both the WFI Stepmill Test(maximal)of aerobic capacity and the Forestry Step Test(submaximal)both on a Stair Master Gauntlet series step ergometer. Each test was administered two weeks apart. The WFI Stepmill Test is a modified ramp stepping protocol that consists of 20 levels of increased step rate with 12 stages of work. Peak VO2during the WFI Stepmill Test was assessed using the using the Cardio Coach metabolic device (Korr Medical). The Forestry Step Test is a submaximal stepping test that is five minutes in duration with a step rate of 22.5 steps/minute. Peak VO2is predicted with the Forestry Step Test by comparing post exercise heart rate to age and body weight norms. RESULTS: Prior to statistical comparisons, data was determined to be from a normal distribution. Results from the paired sample t-test indicate a significant difference between the WiFi VO2and the Foresty Step Test VO2(WiFi: 38.08±6.2ml/kg-1/min-1vs Forestry: 43.83±6.8ml/kg-1/min-1, p= .015). In addition, a post hoc comparison using Cohen’s indicated a large effect size (.882). CONCLUSION: Results of the current study indicate the Forestry Step Test significantly overestimates VO2in career fighters by 5.75 ml/kg-1/min-1. Such submaximal field tests of aerobic capacity should be used with caution when determining the aerobic capacity in career firefighters.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study was funded by The Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology Health Research Grant Program and The University of Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge Program

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