We tested the hypothesis that occupational clothing would impair performance during swimming. The sub questions included: (1) Will the standard work wear of a railway worker or laborer impede swimming ability? (2) Will this clothing impact the individual’s ability to tread water? We addressed the research questions with three hypotheses. Analysis showed statistically significant p-values and all three null hypotheses were rejected in favor of the three research hypotheses, showing strong evidence that standard labor wear had adverse effects on 11.43 meter/12.5 yard swim time, water treading time and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during water treading. The mean swim time more than doubled when the subjects wore standard labor-wear and their average rate of perceived exertion increased from 11.6 in standard swim wear to 17.1 in standard laborwear. It may be beneficial for those workers who work near water to be exposed to educational programs that allow in-water experiences so they develop an understanding of their abilities in, and respect for, the water.
Amtmann, J., Harris, C., Spath, W., & Todd, C. Effects of standard labor-wear on swimming and treading water. Intermountain Journal of Sciences, 18(1-4), 49-54.
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Originally published in Intermountain Journal of Sciences, Vol. 18, No. 1-4, 2012, 49-54.