Laboratory or field tests for evaluating firefighters' work capacity
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 3, e91215- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Muscle strength is important for firefighters work capacity. Laboratory tests used for measurements of muscle strength, however, are complicated, expensive and time consuming. The aims of the present study were to investigate correlations between physical capacity within commonly occurring and physically demanding firefighting work tasks and both laboratory and field tests in full time (N = 8) and part-time (N = 10) male firefighters and civilian men (N = 8) and women (N = 12), and also to give recommendations as to which field tests might be useful for evaluating firefighters' physical work capacity. Laboratory tests of isokinetic maximal (IM) and endurance (IE) muscle power and dynamic balance, field tests including maximal and endurance muscle performance, and simulated firefighting work tasks were performed. Correlations with work capacity were analyzed with Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs). The highest significant (p<0.01) correlations with laboratory and field tests were for Cutting: IE trunk extension (rs = 0.72) and maximal hand grip strength (rs = 0.67), for Stairs: IE shoulder flexion (rs = −0.81) and barbell shoulder press (rs = −0.77), for Pulling: IE shoulder extension (rs= −0.82) and bench press (rs = −0.85), for Demolition: IE knee extension (rs = 0.75) and bench press (rs = 0.83), for Rescue: IE shoulder flexion (rs = −0.83) and bench press (rs = −0.82), and for the Terrain work task: IE trunk flexion (rs = −0.58) and upright barbell row (rs = −0.70). In conclusion, field tests may be used instead of laboratory tests. Maximal hand grip strength, bench press, chin ups, dips, upright barbell row, standing broad jump, and barbell shoulder press were strongly correlated (rs≥0.7) with work capacity and are therefore recommended for evaluating firefighters work capacity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 3, e91215- p.
contained breathing apparatus; physically demanding tasks; physiological demands; muscle strength; ability test; performance; fitness; fire; responses; gender
Sport and Fitness Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86901DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091215ISI: 000332839300097PubMedID: 24614596OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-86901DiVA: diva2:704662