Abstract

Background: Aspects of the work environment influence employee well-being. However, it is unclear how employee lifestyle behaviours, health characteristics and well-being may differ within a broader occupational sector.

Aims: To investigate the health characteristics, lifestyle behaviours and well-being of three Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) occupational groups that differ in shift work and occupational demands: operational firefighters (FF), emergency control (EC) and administrative support (AS) workers.

Methods: Data were obtained via an online survey using previously validated questionnaires to assess health characteristics, lifestyle behaviours and perceived well-being. Differences between groups were explored, controlling for confounding variables, using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) methods. Effect sizes are reported where appropriate to demonstrate clinical significance.

Results: Four thousand five hundred and sixty-four FRS personnel volunteered, with 3333 (73%) completing the survey out of a total workforce of 60000 (8%). FF reported the lowest prevalence of chronic medical conditions (10%), compared with AS (21%) and EC (19%) workers. Total physical activity (PA) was 66% higher among FF compared with EC and AS workers. Components of sleep and self-rated health were independent predictors of well-being irrespective of FRS role.

Conclusions: FF reported the highest levels of PA and highest perceptions of well-being, and the lowest prevalence of obesity and chronic medical conditions, compared with other FRS occupational groups. These findings may be used to inform FRS workplace intervention strategies.

LanguageEnglish
Pages537-543
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume68
Issue number8
Early online date14 Sep 2018
DOIs
StatusPublished - 16 Nov 2018

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Firefighters
Life Style
Occupational Groups
Emergencies
Health
Exercise
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Workplace
Sleep
Obesity
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Lifestyle behaviours and perceived well-being in different fire service roles. / Turner, P J F; Siddall, A G; Stevenson, R D M; Standage, M; Bilzon, J L J.

In: Occupational Medicine, Vol. 68, No. 8, 16.11.2018, p. 537-543.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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