Research Study Abstract

Estimating Energy Expenditure in Wildland Fire Fighters Using a Physical Activity Monitor

  • Published on 05/2002

This study piloted the use of an electronic activity monitor (MTI AM 7164-1.2) as a tool for estimating activity (EE(ACT), kcal·day-1) and total (EE(TOT) kcal·day-1) energy expenditure in wildland fire fighters during extended periods of wildland fire suppression. Ten Hot Shot fire fighters (9 men, 1 woman) volunteered to wear a MTI monitor during every work shift for 21 consecutive days. Summarizing whole-body motion data each 1 min, the raw activity data (counts·min-1) were transformed into units of kcal·min-1 using a custom computer program with standard conversion equations. EE(TOT) averaged ((Mean+/-SD) 4768+/-478 kcal·day-1), while EE(ACT) averaged 2585+/-406 kcal·day-1, neither of which differed significantly (P = 0.198 and 0.268, respectively) from literature values reported for Hot Shots using the doubly labeled water technique. These data suggest that the electronic activity monitor provided reasonable estimates of EE in wildland fire fighters. This study should be verified, however, with a more complete validation methodology to ensure these findings.

Link to Abstract:


Applied Ergonomics