Physical capacity has previously been deemed important for firefighters physical work capacity, and aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and muscular endurance are the most frequently investigated parameters of importance. Traditionally, bivariate and multivariate linear regression statistics have been used to study relationships between physical capacities and work capacities among firefighters. An alternative way to handle datasets consisting of numerous correlated variables is to use multivariate projection analyses, such as Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structures. The first aim of the present study was to evaluate the prediction and predictive power of field and laboratory tests, respectively, on firefighters' physical work capacity on selected work tasks. Also, to study if valid predictions could be achieved without anthropometric data. The second aim was to externally validate selected models. The third aim was to validate selected models on firefighters' and on civilians'. A total of 38 (26 men and 12 women) + 90 (38 men and 52 women) subjects were included in the models and the external validation, respectively. The best prediction (R2) and predictive power (Q2) of Stairs, Pulling, Demolition, Terrain, and Rescue work capacities included field tests (R2 = 0.73 to 0.84, Q2 = 0.68 to 0.82). The best external validation was for Stairs work capacity (R2 = 0.80) and worst for Demolition work capacity (R2 = 0.40). In conclusion, field and laboratory tests could equally well predict physical work capacities for firefighting work tasks, and models excluding anthropometric data were valid. The predictive power was satisfactory for all included work tasks except Demolition.
Lindberg, A. S., Oksa, J., Antti, H., & Malm, C. (2015). Multivariate statistical assessment of predictors of firefighters’ muscular and aerobic work capacity. PLoS ONE, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118945