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Firefighters' physical activity across multiple shifts of planned burn work
journal contributionposted on 02.05.2018, 00:00 by Stephanie Chappel, B Aisbett, GE Vincent, ND Ridgers
Little is currently known about the physical activity patterns of workers in physically demanding populations. The aims of this study were to (a) quantify firefighters' physical activity and sedentary time within (2-h periods) and across planned burn shifts; and (b) examine whether firefighters' activity levels during one shift or 2-h period was associated with their activity levels in the following shift or 2-h period. Thirty-four salaried firefighters (26 men, 8 women) wore an Actical accelerometer for 28 consecutive days. Time spent sedentary (SED) and in light- (LPA), moderate- (MPA) and vigorous-intensity physical activity (VPA) were derived using validated cut-points. Multilevel analyses (shift, participant) were conducted using generalised linear latent and mixed models. Firefighters spent the majority of a planned burn shift (average length 10.4 h) or 2-h period engaged in LPA (69% and 70%, respectively). No significant associations were observed between SED and physical activity levels between consecutive planned burned shifts or 2-h periods. The physical activity that a firefighter engaged in during one shift (or 2-h period) did not subsequently affect their physical activity levels in the subsequent shift (or 2-h period). Further research is needed to establish how workers in physically demanding populations are able to sustain their activity levels over long periods of time.