Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Responses to Gear Weight Under a Controlled Workload

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To compare the effects of personal protective equipment (PPE) weight on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), between volunteer firefighters (FF) and athletes.


Athletes and FF were matched by body size and came to the lab twice for two treadmill tests. The “Regular” test was completed in normal fitness clothing, and PPE test was completed in full structural PPE with monitoring of HR assessment every minute and BP each stage.


In the FF cohort, all submaximal HR and BP levels were different. HRmax and VO2max were also different (all P < 0.05). In athletes, HRmax was higher in Regular test than PPE.


Future research should examine the effect of different PPE weights on HR and BP responses.

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