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Physiological effects of boot weight in men and women fire fighters.
Turner N; Chiou S; Zwiener J; Weaver D; Spahr J; Sinkule E; Haskell W
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 Oct; :F4.3
Introduction: Most fire fighters wear heavy rubber boots or lighter leather boots. Increases in oxygen consumption per kg of weight added to the foot may depend on gender, boot material, and whether or not subjects are wearing additional protective clothing or equipment. Methods: Twenty-five men and 25 women fire fighters, while wearing full turnout clothing, a 10.5-kg backpack, gloves, helmet, and one of six randomly assigned pairs of fire fighter boots, walked for six minutes at three mph on a treadmill while carrying a 9.5-kg hose and then climbed a stair ergometer for six minutes at 45 steps per minute. Results/Discussion: Minute ventilation (VE), oxygen consumption (VO2 and VO2kg), CO2 production (VCO2), and heart rate (HR) were measured, and an average of the breath-by-breath data from minute six was used for analysis. During treadmill exercise, boot weight had a significant effect (p < / = 0.05) on VO2, VO2kg, and VCO2 in men and women; boot weight had a significant effect (p < / = 0.05) on VE and HR for men only. In men, a 1-kg increase in boot weight caused a 9% increase in VE and 6 - 8% increases in VO2 and VO2/kg. The increase in VE observed in men could result in an approximate 8% decrease in service time for a 45-min SCBA cylinder. In women, 3% increases in VO2 and VO2/kg were observed. Gender differences observed during treadmill walking may be due to a decrease in women's stride length while carrying a load. During stair climbing, a 1-kg increase in boot weight caused a 3.5% increase in VO2 in men only (p < / = 0.05). This 3.5% increase is less than the 5% increase observed in a previous study of leather and rubber boots where subjects wore only gym shorts and may reflect a diminished effect of boot weight with full turnout gear.
Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting-equipment; Human-factors-engineering; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Muscle-function; Musculoskeletal-system; Occupational-exposure; Personal-protective-equipment; Physiological-factors; Physiological-fatigue; Physiological-measurements; Physiological-response; Physiological-stress; Posture; Statistical-analysis; Walking-surfaces; Weight-factors; Work-analysis; Work-operations; Work-performance
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division