The Edmond Sun

April 5, 2013

UCO center helps firefighters get physical

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — More than 60 Edmond fire personnel have received health screenings thanks to the University of Central Oklahoma.

Last week, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies administered health screenings for members of the Edmond Fire Department at its laboratory in UCO’s Wellness Center. The screenings followed conversations between Edmond Fire Maj. Joe Elam and Greg Farnell, a UCO associate professor of kinesiology and health studies.

Kinesiology is an academic discipline that involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. It includes, but is not limited to areas of study such as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine sport and exercise psychology and occupational therapy.

The screening at the UCO Wellness Center was not mandatory, and the number of participants exceeded expectations, Elam said.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons fire personnel rotated through stations at the Wellness Center kinesiology lab. Workers including graduate students screened for cardiovascular endurance, body composition, flexibility, muscular fitness, anaerobic power and functional movement.

In the lab, a bone density scan provided a safe, quick, painless procedure that can detect osteoporosis at its earliest stages when treatment is most effective. The patient remains fully clothed and reclines on a padded scanning bed while the arm of the scanner passes over the body.

The results appear on a nearby computer screen. Following the procedure, the scan is examined and a report includes an estimation of fracture risk and recommendations for prevention or treatment.

Nearby, personnel were undergoing cardiopulmonary assessment known as VO2 testing. VO2 is the maximum volume of oxygen the body can deliver to the working muscles per minute. Participants breath through a special mask while they walk on a treadmill.

Also in the lab were a couple of stationary cycle ergometers specially adapted to instantaneously apply the workload for the Wingate anaerobic test. The test measures an individual’s ability to generate leg power at a high rate for 30 seconds.

Participants’ functional movement was tested by a series of exercises: Deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight raise, stability push-up and rotary stability. Ability was measured by a point scoring system. | 341-2121, ext. 108