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Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards
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Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards



Author: Tara Reilly

Author: Tara Reilly



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Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards Presentation Transcript

  • Physical Fitness Standard for RNLI Beach Lifeguards Tara Reilly and Mike Tipton Department of Sport & Exercise Science Institute of Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences University of Portsmouth
  • The RNLI asked the University of Portsmouth to:
    • Consider the fitness standards required of prospective beach lifeguards and establish:
      • a task-related minimum fitness standard based on the critical generic tasks with underpinning scientific rationale
      • easily administered defensible tests that could be used as part of the selection process
    • Phase 1. Task Analysis
      • Beach Survey
      • 91 Lifeguard Interviews
    • Phase 2. Field tests on 28 BLG to assess the physiological demands of the critical generic tasks
      • Theoretical analysis of rescue performance demands
    • Phase 3. Pool, gym and lab tests on 23 subjects to develop simple tests
    Fitness Standard
  • Phase One Questionnaire Results
    • Most demanding tasks were identified as:
    • Sea swim towing casualty
    • Board paddle with casualty
    • Casualty Handling
    • Beach running (training only)
  • Phase Two Sea-based tests Self-paced towing & paddling in the sea
  • Oxygen consumption measured at steady state after 3 minutes
  • Oxygen consumption during towing and paddling indicates that towing is more physically demanding than paddling
  • Phase Two Paddling Performance in the sea
    • Time to paddle the standard life saving board 400m
    • Performed at maximum effort, prone technique
  • Phase Two Pool-based tests
    • 200m pool swim
      • maximum effort
      • (assessed via blood lactate analysis)
    • 25m underwater swim + 25m surface swim
      • maximum effort
  • Performance Goals Maximum time to rescue an immersion victim
    • Face-down submersion: <2 minutes
    • Severe difficulties, no aspiration: 1-2 minutes struggle, 1-2 minute airway submersion. Total time <3.5 minutes
    • Return to beach within 10 minutes
    • Assumes immediate recognition and response by the lifeguard – implications
  • Performance Results Patrolled Area on a board and swimming
    • 5 th percentile paddling speed: 1.38m.s -1 . This means that 95% of the BLG tested should be able to cover 289m in 3.5 minutes
    • 95% of BLG tested can swim 200m in 3min 31s
  • Attainable Goals Supervising the Patrolled Area
    • 0-200m Swim, Paddle, IRB
    • 200-300m Paddle, IRB
  • Data Collection : Phase 3
    • Data collection took place in Swedish facilities which included a swim flume which was large enough to facilitate board paddling
    • 13 RNLI beach lifeguards
      • Bournemouth 5
      • Whitsands 6
      • Perranporth 2
    • 12 Swimmers currently living in Sweden
  • Phase Three Flume-based tests
    • All tests started at a self-selected pace and increased incrementally to VO 2max
    • Paddle with dummy prone on board
    • Cross-chest tow of dummy
    • Front crawl swim
  • Phase Three Pool-based tests
    • 400m front crawl swim
    • 300m breast stroke swim
    • 200m one-armed breast stroke swim with float
    All maximum effort -assessed via blood lactate analysis
  • Phase Three Land Based Tests
    • Bleep Tests (estimation of running VO 2max )
    • Maximum number of press ups in 1 minute
    • Anthropometry (Ht, Mass, Skinfold thickness, Chest & Deltoid [Shoulder] Circumference, Arm length)
    • Physiological characteristics of freestyle swimming are similar to that of paddling
    • Performance of LG on the 400m freestyle swim (pool) corresponds with paddling performance out to sea
    Phase Three Results
  • Predicting Paddle Performance
    • Correlation of paddling VO 2 max and swim freestyle VO 2 max = 0.906 (n=13)
    • Because of their close relationship, paddling performance can be predicted from 400m swim time
    • Predictive regression (r=0.72, P<0.001):
      • distance paddled to casualty in 210s
      • = 850 – (1.2 x freestyle 400m time)
    • From this, someone should be able to paddle 310m in the sea in less than 3.5min provided they can swim 400m in a pool in less than 7.5min.
  • The relationship between oxygen demand of towing and towing velocity (mean data N=25)
  • Predicting Towing Performance
    • The BLG should not be working at a level above 70% VO2max
    • To avoid working above 70% of towing VO 2max and return the casualty to shore in the required time (6 minutes) the BLG must have a towing VO 2max of at least 2.43 L.min -1
    • We can predict towing performance by swim performance and shoulder circumference
  • r=0.83, P<0.001, n=22 Tow VO 2max (L.min -1 ) = -1.97+ 0.106(shoulder circumference / log400m swim time) Determining Towing Performance
  • Recommendations for the new fitness standard
  • Fitness Standards
      • Pool swim 200m in < 210s (3.5 minutes)
        • to predict 200m sea swim to casualty
      • Pool swim 400m in < 450s (7.5 minutes)
        • to predict 300m paddle performance
      • Swim underwater 25m and freestyle return in <50s
      • DC/log400m index>41 to predict towing performance
      • Lift 41kg and move 10m backwards
      • 200m beach sprint in <45s
      • (Aerobic demand of CPR – small [1.24 L.min -1* ]) Miles et al (1984)