The job of a firefighter is difficult and can impose great physical strain. These job demands place firefighters at a higher risk for injury. Firefighter recruits train in academies, learning firefighting skills and take part in activities to increase their health and fitness. This training is designed to decrease their risk for injury. This study tracked the health and fitness of 27 firefighter recruits. The investigation found that the health and fitness of firefighter recruits improved after their 16-week academy training. But after being on the job for 22 weeks as firefighters, their health and fitness levels declined. This decrease may lead to an increase in a firefighter’s risk for injury and negatively influence their ability to be prepared for the job demands. The job challenges for a new firefighter may influence the time available for exercise to maintain the improvements in health and fitness gained during the firefighter recruit academies.

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