F2T 103 – Mobility and Fitness Assessment (Self-Paced)

To make exercise matter, we must first seek to understand the needs and wants of those involved.

To make exercise matter, we must first try to understand what motivates fire fighters to be active – health, fitness, performance, quality of life, family, etc. We must also recognize that every fire fighter is unique and needs the capacity to meet the demands of their life. The same exercise intervention will not be appropriate for every fire fighter and therefore any exercise recommendations should be informed by their needs, wants, abilities, etc. as established via the assessment process.

F2T 103 introduces a framework to assess the unique mobility and fitness needs of fire fighters for WORK, LIFE and PLAY such that personalized exercise recommendations can be provided.

The Mobility Screen

On any given day, the way we walk, get of bed, put on our pants, etc. will be influenced by how much joint range of motion we have (passive) and access (active) through the coordinated contraction of our muscles. Possessing the motivation, knowledge and fitness to perform a specific physical activity may mean very little without the requisite mobility.

For these reasons, mobility should be one of, if not the first piece of information gathered when assessing a client’s physical needs. Knowing whether they have the ability (passively or actively) to place their body in specific positions will shed light on their available movement solutions and help to personalize any exercise, education or coaching recommendations.

The Mobility Screen consists of 10 tasks that can be used collectively to ‘rule out’ the presences of an ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion, and/or shoulder flexion mobility restriction. The 10 tasks are separated into 3 categories (or grades), each differing in complexity and joint range of motion demands.

The Mobility Screen can be used to categorize performers as having: A) active and passive mobility, B) passive but not active mobility, and C) no active or passive mobility.

The Physical Literacy Screen

Described as the collective influence that personal, task and environmental factors have on how we move, our Physical Literacy reflects the extent to which our movement behaviours shape our health, wellness and quality of life. It also underscores the importance of being physically fit, while highlighting the fact that possessing the fitness (e.g. aerobic capacity) to perform a particular activity may mean very little without also having the awareness, confidence or requisite mobility to move safely and effectively.

For these reasons, when assessing a client’s physical needs their movement patterns must be assessed within the context of any relevant task demands. Knowing whether the client is able to control motion of their knees, back and shoulders, for example, across a range of activities requiring varying degrees of physical fitness will shed light on their physical literacy and help to personalize any exercise, education or coaching recommendations.

The Physical Literacy Screen comprises a series of 15 tasks that can be used separately or collectively to better understand how an individual moves while performing a series of general movement patterns. The 15 tasks are also separated into 3 categories each differing in the physical demands imposed.

The Physical Literacy Screen can be used to categorize performers as being: A) physical literate (fitness and movement), B) physically fit (fitness only), and C) not physically fit (no fitness of movement).

The WFI Fitness Assessment

The WFI Fitness Assessment consists of 10 standardized protocols that can be used to establish a baseline fitness level, measure progress from year to year, and provide personalized exercise recommendations. The 5 components of fitness evaluated are: Body Composition, Mobility and Flexibility, Speed and Power, Aerobic Capacity and Recovery, and Strength and Endurance.

The WFI Fitness Assessment can be used to categorize performers as needing to: A) reinforce existing capacity, B) improve specific abilities, and C) increase general fitness.

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