Lifestyle behaviours and perceived well-being in different fire service roles

Philip Turner, Andrew Siddall, Richard Stevenson, Martyn Standage, James Bilzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)
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Background: Aspects of the work environment influence employee wellbeing. However, it is unclear how employee lifestyle behaviours, health characteristics and wellbeing may differ within a broader occupational sector.
Aims: To investigate the health characteristics, lifestyle behaviours and wellbeing 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 wellbeing. Differences between groups were explored, controlling for confounding variables, using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) methods. Effects 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 60,000 (8%). FF reported the lowest prevalence of chronic medical conditions (10%), compared to AS (21%) and EC (19%) workers. Total physical activity (PA) was 66% higher among FF compared to EC and AS workers. Components of sleep and self-rated health were independent predictors of wellbeing irrespective of FRS role.
Conclusions: FF reported the highest levels of physical activity and highest perceptions of wellbeing, and the lowest prevalence of obesity and chronic medical conditions, compared to other FRS occupational groups. These findings may be used to inform FRS workplace intervention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberOM-17-OP-207.R4
Pages (from-to)537-543
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date14 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • occupation; shift-work; wellbeing; health; lifestyle; physical activity; sleep


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