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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 973; doi:10.3390/ijerph13100973

Firefighters’ Physical Activity across Multiple Shifts of Planned Burn Work

Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
Bushfire Co-Operative Research Centre, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia
Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 22 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: firefighting; actigraphy; prescribed burning; hazard reduction burning; workplace; environment firefighting; actigraphy; prescribed burning; hazard reduction burning; workplace; environment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chappel, S.E.; Aisbett, B.; Vincent, G.E.; Ridgers, N.D. Firefighters’ Physical Activity across Multiple Shifts of Planned Burn Work. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 973.

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