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Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Graduate School

First Advisor

Christopher R. Snell

First Committee Member

Linda S. Koehler

Second Committee Member

J. Connor Sutton

Third Committee Member

John G. Boelter

Abstract

A mandatory two year fitness, health screening and education program was conducted in a fire protection district to assess the impact on selected fitness, medical and absenteeism variables. The study evaluated the archival data from a program that had already been conducted. Absenteeism measured as occupational injury and personal illness were reviewed two years prior to the program and during the two year program period. Medical evaluation and fitness testing were also conducted during the program. Individualized exercise prescriptions were developed for each participant from the fitness profiles derived from testing. The firefighters were given two hours each work shift to complete their prescribed physical training. Wellness education topics were provided during training sessions at the fire stations.

A quasi-experimental factorial design was used to evaluate the program. All fitness measures showed improvement. Total cholesterol, triglycerides and diastolic blood pressure declined as well. A repeated measures MANOVA showed a significant multivariate effect for the linear combination of variables consisting of physical fitness, health screening and absenteeism. A reduction in injury-related absenteeism resulted in a decline in the workers' compensation premium and saved this fire district an estimated $68,741 over two years. It appears that this mandatory health promotion program improved physical fitness and reduced absenteeism due to occupational injury.

Pages

113

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