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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 179-184

Occupational physical fitness and eating attitudes of emergency medical services students in Riyadh

Department of Exercise Physiology, College of Sport Sciences and Physical Activity, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khaled Salah Kamel
College of Physical Education, Al-Azhar University, Cairo
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.191333

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Aims: To compare occupational, physical fitness and eating attitudes among students at a college for emergency medical services (EMSs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with American Council on Exercise (ACE) international physical fitness guidelines. Settings and Design: Seventy-three EMS students with a mean age and body mass index of 20.7 ± 1.1 years and 26.3 ± 6.6, respectively, were randomly selected. Participants were asked to complete three suggested ACE physical fitness tests and the Eating Attitudes Test-26 questionnaire. Materials and Methods: We used test protocols and administration to calculate student group percentages and compare results with the ACE guideline test-termination criteria. Statistical Analysis Used: We used a one-sample t-test to assess differences in obtained versus reference scores. Results: Moderate to strong correlations were clearly observed between most variables, especially in the trunk (flexor - extensor) endurance test (r = 0.67, P < 0.01). In addition, a strong correlation between left- and right-sided trunk lateral endurance was observed (r = 0.76, P < 0.01). Regarding ACE guidelines for EMS practitioners, the subjects of this study were not significantly physically fit. Finally, only 16.9% of students exhibited eating disorder risks requiring professional attention. Conclusions: The low level of core physical fitness indicates the need for a special exercise program with a primary focus on EMS responders' abilities to fulfill occupational requirements. A physical exercise intervention program that emphasizes static balance, postural control, and overall flexibility and strength might be important for the prevention of occupational risk among EMS students.

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