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Firefighter Fitness, Coronary Heart Disease, and Sudden Cardiac Death Risk

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Abstract:

Objective: To determine the roles physical fitness, coronary heart disease, and sudden cardiac death risk play in firefighter culture, via an emic (insider's) perspective within the culture of the fire service.

Methods: Key informant interviews and focus group discussions with full-time, acculturated firefighters, framed within a social ecological framework.

Results: Physical fitness is a complex, cultural construct, based on functional capacity and management normative expectations. Coronary heart disease is not a culturally relevant reason for workplace fitness program adherence.

Conclusions: Fitness interventions must culturally adapt to the unique nature of the fire service, emphasizing functional capacity, crew dependability, and fitness/well-being strategies.

Keywords: CULTURAL ADAPTABILITY; FIREFIGHTER PHYSICAL FITNESS; FITNESS BEHAVIOR; FITNESS EXPECTATIONS; FITNESS NORMS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.35.5.9

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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