Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards

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Author: Tara Reilly
(03-23)

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Occupational fitness standards for beach lifeguards

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. The RNLI asked the University of Portsmouth to: <ul><li>Consider the fitness standards required of prospective beach lifeguards and establish: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a task-related minimum fitness standard based on the critical generic tasks with underpinning scientific rationale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>easily administered defensible tests that could be used as part of the selection process </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Phase 1. Task Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beach Survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>91 Lifeguard Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase 2. Field tests on 28 BLG to assess the physiological demands of the critical generic tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theoretical analysis of rescue performance demands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase 3. Pool, gym and lab tests on 23 subjects to develop simple tests </li></ul>Fitness Standard
  4. 4. Phase One Questionnaire Results <ul><li>Most demanding tasks were identified as: </li></ul><ul><li>Sea swim towing casualty </li></ul><ul><li>Board paddle with casualty </li></ul><ul><li>Casualty Handling </li></ul><ul><li>Beach running (training only) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Phase Two Sea-based tests Self-paced towing & paddling in the sea
  6. 6. Oxygen consumption measured at steady state after 3 minutes
  7. 7. Oxygen consumption during towing and paddling indicates that towing is more physically demanding than paddling
  8. 8. Phase Two Paddling Performance in the sea <ul><li>Time to paddle the standard life saving board 400m </li></ul><ul><li>Performed at maximum effort, prone technique </li></ul>
  9. 9. Phase Two Pool-based tests <ul><li>200m pool swim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>maximum effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(assessed via blood lactate analysis) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>25m underwater swim + 25m surface swim </li></ul><ul><ul><li>maximum effort </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Performance Goals Maximum time to rescue an immersion victim <ul><li>Face-down submersion: <2 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Severe difficulties, no aspiration: 1-2 minutes struggle, 1-2 minute airway submersion. Total time <3.5 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Return to beach within 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes immediate recognition and response by the lifeguard – implications </li></ul>
  11. 11. Performance Results Patrolled Area on a board and swimming <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>95% of BLG tested can swim 200m in 3min 31s </li></ul>
  12. 12. Attainable Goals Supervising the Patrolled Area <ul><li>0-200m Swim, Paddle, IRB </li></ul><ul><li>200-300m Paddle, IRB </li></ul>
  13. 13. Data Collection : Phase 3 <ul><li>Data collection took place in Swedish facilities which included a swim flume which was large enough to facilitate board paddling </li></ul><ul><li>13 RNLI beach lifeguards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bournemouth 5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whitsands 6 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perranporth 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>12 Swimmers currently living in Sweden </li></ul>
  14. 14. Phase Three Flume-based tests <ul><li>All tests started at a self-selected pace and increased incrementally to VO 2max </li></ul><ul><li>Paddle with dummy prone on board </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-chest tow of dummy </li></ul><ul><li>Front crawl swim </li></ul>
  15. 16. Phase Three Pool-based tests <ul><li>400m front crawl swim </li></ul><ul><li>300m breast stroke swim </li></ul><ul><li>200m one-armed breast stroke swim with float </li></ul>All maximum effort -assessed via blood lactate analysis
  16. 17. Phase Three Land Based Tests <ul><li>Bleep Tests (estimation of running VO 2max ) </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum number of press ups in 1 minute </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropometry (Ht, Mass, Skinfold thickness, Chest & Deltoid [Shoulder] Circumference, Arm length) </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Physiological characteristics of freestyle swimming are similar to that of paddling </li></ul><ul><li>Performance of LG on the 400m freestyle swim (pool) corresponds with paddling performance out to sea </li></ul>Phase Three Results
  18. 19. Predicting Paddle Performance <ul><li>Correlation of paddling VO 2 max and swim freestyle VO 2 max = 0.906 (n=13) </li></ul><ul><li>Because of their close relationship, paddling performance can be predicted from 400m swim time </li></ul><ul><li>Predictive regression (r=0.72, P<0.001): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>distance paddled to casualty in 210s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>= 850 – (1.2 x freestyle 400m time) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  19. 20. The relationship between oxygen demand of towing and towing velocity (mean data N=25)
  20. 21. Predicting Towing Performance <ul><li>The BLG should not be working at a level above 70% VO2max </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>We can predict towing performance by swim performance and shoulder circumference </li></ul>
  21. 22. 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
  22. 23. Recommendations for the new fitness standard
  23. 24. Fitness Standards <ul><ul><li>TASK-RELATED </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pool swim 200m in < 210s (3.5 minutes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to predict 200m sea swim to casualty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pool swim 400m in < 450s (7.5 minutes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to predict 300m paddle performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Swim underwater 25m and freestyle return in <50s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DC/log400m index>41 to predict towing performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lift 41kg and move 10m backwards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>200m beach sprint in <45s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Aerobic demand of CPR – small [1.24 L.min -1* ]) Miles et al (1984) </li></ul></ul>Combine

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