Obesity and lack of physical fitness among our general population has been well documented as a significant health problem for our nation. This problem impacts the ability of our EMS systems to effectively serve the needs of patients. Increasingly obese patients contribute to increasing levels of lifting-related injuries among EMS practitioners. As with our general population, obesity and lack of physical fitness within the EMS workforce also contribute to injuries and an increase in chronic diseases.
- EMS practitioners are seven times more likely than the average worker to miss work as result of injury;
- Half of all EMS practitioners suffer back pain annually;
- One of four EMS practitioners will suffer a career ending injury within the first four years of service;
- Back injury is the #1 reason for leaving EMS;
- Back injuries are often the result of cumulative wear & tear.
NAEMT recognizes that EMS agencies need to hire EMS practitioners who are able to meet and maintain the physical fitness requirements for the job and that EMS practitioners need to understand the physical fitness levels required for their jobs and how to maintain those fitness levels.
This section includes recommended fitness guidelines for EMS practitioners, and tips to improve and sustain your fitness.