Emily L. Langford1, Lauren T. Higginbotham1, Sarah N. Lanham2, Jamal L. Thruston2, Alyssa Q. Eastman3, Jackson B. Miller2, Vanessa Santos4, Luis Monteiro4, Mark G. Abel2. 1University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL. 2University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 3Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. 4ICPOL Research Center, Lisbon.

BACKGROUND: The leading cause of on-duty fatality among firefighters is sudden cardiac event. Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, a host of factors may affect firefighters’ participation in PA, including working a second job. The purpose of this study was to identify the proportion of firefighters achieving PA guidelines, the proportion working secondary jobs, and assessment of the relationship between secondary job status and achievement of PA guidelines and training loads. METHODS: A convenience sample of 126 (118 male, 7 female, 1 not provided; Age: 40.4±9.3 yr) career structural firefighters volunteered to complete an online survey describing the typical endurance (ET) and resistance training (RT) frequency, duration, and perceived exertion performed on- and off-duty. Session training load (SL; Arbitrary Units: AU) was calculated as: Session duration x rating of perceived exertion (0-10 category-ratio scale). Weekly training load (WL; AU) was calculated as: SL x weekly training frequency. Achieving PA guidelines equated to performing ≥2 RT sessions per week and ≥75 vigorous or ≥150 moderate intensity minutes of ET per week. Job status was stratified into firefighters who worked a second job vs. those who did not. Chi-square analyses examined the job status stratified proportion of firefighters achieving (met vs. did not meet) PA guidelines for ET and RT independently and collectively. The effects of job status on SL and WL for RT and ET were determined via independent samples t-tests. Descriptive values are presented as mean±standard deviation. Significance was set at p<0.05. RESULTS: 23% of firefighters met global PA guidelines, 62% met RT, and 34% met ET guidelines. 61% of firefighters worked a secondary job. Job status strata was not associated with meeting the PA guidelines for ET (n=124, χ2<0.001, p=0.99), RT (n=126, χ2=0.07, p=0.79), or global guidelines (n=124, χ2=0.15, p=0.70). There were no differences between job status strata for SL (ET: n=97, 159±133 AU, p=0.84, Cohen’s d=0.04; RT: n=81, 230±178 AU, p=0.16, Cohen’s d=0.32) or WL (ET: n=97, 490±562 AU, p=0.62, Cohen’s d=0.10; RT: n=81, 870±989 AU, p=0.17, Cohen’s d=0.32). CONCLUSION: Secondary job status was not associated with achievement of PA guidelines and training loads were similar among firefighters with varied job statuses.

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