Loaded treadmill walking and cycle ergometry to assess work capacity: a retrospective comparison in 424 firefighters.
2015 (English)In: Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging, ISSN 1475-0961, E-ISSN 1475-097XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
The fitness of firefighters is regularly evaluated using exercise tests. We aimed to compare, with respect to age and body composition, two test modalities for the assessment work capacity. A total of 424 Swedish firefighters with cycle ergometer (CE) and treadmill (TM) tests available from Jan 2004 to Dec 2010 were included. We compared results from CE (6 min at 200 W, 250 W or incremental ramp exercise) with TM (6 min at 8° inclination, 4·5 km h(-1) or faster, wearing 24-kg protective equipment). Oxygen requirements were estimated by prediction equations. It was more common to pass the TM test and fail the supposedly equivalent CE test (20%), than vice versa (0·5%), P<0·001. Low age and tall stature were significant predictors of passing both CE and TM tests (P<0·05), while low body mass predicted accomplishment of TM test only (P = 0·006). Firefighters who passed the TM but failed the supposedly equivalent CE test within 12 months had significantly lower body mass, lower BMI, lower BSA and shorter stature than did those who passed both tests. Calculated oxygen uptake was higher in TM tests compared with corresponding CE tests (P<0·001). Body constitution affected approval differently depending on the test modality. A higher approval rate in TM testing suggests lower cardiorespiratory requirements compared with CE testing, even though estimated oxygen uptake was higher during TM testing. The relevance of our findings in relation to the occupational demands needs reconsidering.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sport and Fitness Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120004DOI: 10.1111/cpf.12265PubMedID: 26096157OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120004DiVA: diva2:839183