Date of Graduation
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
Sport and Exercise Psychology
The concern over health and wellness among firefighters in the US has escalated recently due to increasing obesity rates, on-duty cardiovascular event risk, and job stress. Besides unique aspects of the work, a number of other barriers to health and wellness have been identified within the firefighter culture. Using a qualitative approach with multiple sources of data, the current study sought to answer the question, "what impacts the health of firefighters in West Virginia?" Eight focus groups, and Photovoice data from nine participants were inductively analyzed using guidelines from consensual qualitative research. House tours were also done to provide ethnographic data. Seven main factors were identified as impacting firefighters' health in West Virginia: stress, nutrition, general factors, physical activity, sleep, motivation, and job related concerns. Participants also discussed potential solutions to health concerns among firefighters, such as incentive and education programs. Recommendations for future studies, including possible interventions, are discussed.
Wooding, Chelsea B., "Stoking the Flames of Wellness: An Exploration of Factors that Influence West Virginia Firefighters' Health Behaviors" (2014). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 485.