Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards. Phase 2: the development of an easily administered fitness test

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BackgroundNo task-based fitness standard currently exists for beach lifeguards (BLGs).AimTo formulate an easily administered fitness test for BLGs based on the physical demands identified in Phase 1 of the project (previous paper).MethodsA range of anthropometric and land- and water-based (swimming pool and flume) fitness assessments were administered to 25 male and female volunteer subjects (13 BLGs from the UK).ResultsThe mean (SD) VO2max (l/min) were 3.04 (0.61) for towing a casualty, 2.08 (0.53) for board paddling with a casualty and 2.97 (0.67) for freestyle swimming. A significant correlation (r=−0.82, P < 0.001) was identified between distance paddled in the sea in 3.5 min (established in Phase 1) and pool 400-m front crawl swim time and between towing VO2max and deltoid circumference/log10 400-m front crawl swim time (r=−0.83, P < 0.001).ConclusionsThe regression identified allows the conclusion that if a BLG can swim 400-m front crawl in a pool in <7.5 min, he/she should be able to paddle 310 m in the sea in <3.5 min. Final recommendations for a fitness test for potential BLGs are presented.

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