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The effect of prescribed fluid consumption on physiology and work behavior of wildfire fighters

Raines, Jenni and Snow, Rodney J and Petersen, Aaron C and Harvey, Jack and Nichols, David and Aisbett, Brad (2013) The effect of prescribed fluid consumption on physiology and work behavior of wildfire fighters. Applied Ergonomics, 44 (3). pp. 404-413. ISSN 0003-6870

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine 1) wildfire fighters' ability to consume the prescribed fluid volume (1200 mL h−1), 2) the effect of fluid intake on plasma sodium and hydration, and 3) the effect of fluid intake on firefighters' heart rate, core temperature and activity during emergency suppression shifts. Methods Thirty-four firefighters were divided into ad libitum (AD, n = 17) and prescribed (PR, n = 17) drinking groups. Results PR drinkers did not meet the prescribed fluid target, yet consumed over double the volume of AD drinkers. No differences between groups in plasma sodium or hydration were noted. PR drinking resulted in lower core temperature between 2 and 6 h. This did not coincide with reduced cardiovascular strain, greater work activity or larger distances covered when compared to AD drinkers. Conclusion Extra fluid consumption (above AD) did not improve firefighter activity or physiological function (though PR firefighters core temperature was lower earlier in their shift). Firefighter can self-regulate their fluid consumption behavior and work rate to leave the fireground euhydrated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID25549, ResPubID26689, wildfire fighters, fluid intake, plasma sodium and hydration, physical work capacity, core temperature
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Yimin Zeng
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:43
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2014 00:10
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/23405
DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.10.002
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