J.C. Munger, L.M. Young

University of Montana Western, Dillon, MT

PURPOSE: To determine the health and fitness standards for volunteer fire fighters in Dillon, Montana. METHODS: Fifteen structural volunteer firefighters from the Dillon fire department aged 19-49 (35.2 ± 9.6 years), (BMI of 30.66 ± 5.98), (Systolic Blood Pressure (SBS) 133.6 ± 10.1), (Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBS) 80.1 ± 6.5), with varying levels of fitness and experience were assessed for twelve measures including: Predicted VO2max (33.6 ml/kg/min-1± 10.7) via a YMCA test using a cycle ergometer, maximal upper body strength via a push up test (19.9 ± 8.6), hand grip strength using a hand dynamometer (74.06 ± 25), core/abdominal strength (31 ± 13.2), shoulder (right -0.33 ± 5.69) (left -0.96 ± 6.03), trunk rotation (32.4 ± 7.58), hamstring flexibility via a sit and reach (24.67 ± 10.9) and body fat percentage using a hand held bioelectrical impedance analysis(25.38 ± 4.8). ACSM guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (2017) were followed for all assessments. A correlation of each measure was performed with r ≥ 0.7 showing strong positive relationship and r ≤ -0.7 being a strong negative relationship. Moderate relationships were set at 0.5 ≤ r ≤ 0.7 and -0.7 ≤ r ≤ -0.5. RESULTS: A strong negative correlation was found between pushups and BMI (r = -0.7). Strong positive relationships were observed between BMI and body fat percentage (r = 0.9). Moderate positive relationships were seen between upper body strength and hamstring flexibility (r = 0.64), and core strength and hamstring flexibility (0.57). A weak positive correlation between systolic blood pressure readings and predicted VO2max (r = 0.46) was observed. CONCLUSION: The results suggest a higher BMI is associated with lower upper body strength and lower abdominal strength among firefighters. The results also support greater hamstring flexibility scores are predictive of greater upper body strength and core strength.

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