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Collaborative Research Study Aims to Prevent Firefighter Injury Nationwide
Date:9/10/2009

oskeletal injuries than firefighters who exhibit excellent body control.

The ultimate goal of the research project is to better understand how to enhance worker durability and optimize job performance. This will be accomplished through the implementation of training methods that place emphasis on the way an individual is moving and activating their muscles, rather than simply becoming physically fit. Too often, measures of "fitness", such as strength or muscular endurance are used to identify occupational readiness, with disregard for how the tasks are performed. Interestingly enough, the individuals appearing to be the most physically prepared could in fact move their body's in ways that predispose them to a higher risk of injury. The training principles adopted for this research project have been developed over the past 15 years and are successfully employed by Athletes' Performance on a day-to-day basis with the world's top professional and amateur athletes.

To accomplish their goal, the research team performs biomechanical analyses of the firefighters while they perform various work-related and non work-related physical duties. The data collected will provide insight into why some firefighters may be susceptible to injury when fulfilling their occupational duties, and provide information that can be used to develop evidence-based physical training programs.

Following these preliminary analyses, the researchers will be integrating Athletes' Performance's training methodology into an intervention study whereby their "movement-centric" approach will be compared to a conventional "fitness-centric" program. The objective is to better understand the effect that individualized movement coaching can have on preparing firefighters to meet the physical demands of their profession, while also reducing their potential for injury.

The first portion of the study includes a qualitative screen to determin
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