Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Mark G. Abel


The purpose of this study was to investigate a novel work economy metric to quantify firefighter physical ability and identify physical fitness and anthropometric correlates of work economy. Physical fitness and anthropometric measurements were taken on 19 incumbent structural firefighters (Age: 35.0±7.1 yr, Body mass: 87.5±13.1 kg). Firefighters performed a timed maximal effort simulated fireground test (SFGT) in personal protective equipment. SFGT air depletion was represented by change in cylinder pressure. Work economy was quantified as: (1/(SFGT completion time x air depletion))x104. Bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify anthropometric and physical fitness predictors of work economy. Work economy was significantly correlated to age (r=-0.67), relative body fat (r=-0.47), fat mass (r=-0.51), years of occupational experience (r=-0.64), maximum jump height (r=0.73), inverted row repetitions (r=0.60), relative bench press (r=0.54) and squat strength (r=0.63), treadmill time to exhaustion (r=0.71), relative ventilatory threshold (r=0.57), and relative VO2peak (r=0.57). Treadmill time to exhaustion and relative lower body strength accounted for the greatest variance in work economy (R2=0.72, RMSE=0.07). A diverse set of mass dependent fitness attributes were related to work economy. However relative lower body strength and aerobic endurance were the strongest predictors of work economy.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)