FireFlex Yoga Named as a Top Resource for Firefighter Wellness
Resources are available for firefighters to relieve the occupational effects of acute and post-traumatic stress.
By: Active Wellness
FireFlex is designed for first responders to mitigate stress and on-the-job injuries. Classes are delivered at fire stations, and it's the only yoga program curated specifically for firefighters that gathers quantitative data before/after a series of classes. Results consistently showcase the program's impact on increased wellness for first responders, enhancing both their physical and mental wellness. Currently, Active Wellness offers the FireFlex Yoga program at 17 Bay Area Fire Departments, supporting hundreds of firefighters locally.
"I highly recommend FireFlex Yoga for any fire department. It truly blends physical fitness along with mental fitness, and I think both of those correlate," said Firefighter Luke Duncan of the Scotts Valley Fire Department.
Before a group of firefighters begins a FireFlex class series, an instructor completes a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) with the group, which includes: squat, lunge, lift, and carry - mirroring the fundamental movement patterns used daily on the job. After the 10-class series is complete, the FMS is remeasured.
On average, participants have achieved a 74% improvement in their FMS scores. This quantitative physical data correlates to firefighters' testimony of increased mental resiliency, and it's also used to demonstrate a return on investment for the Department.
Without proactive interventions, like yoga, first responders are vulnerable to traumatic stress disorders, compassion fatigue, and maladaptive coping strategies. Through FireFlex Yoga, first responders are learning how to strengthen their bodies, breath, and attention to increase resiliency.
FireFlex Yoga is a wellness program designed for first responders to mitigate stress and on-the-job injuries. FireFlex brings the yoga practice to first responders with a deep knowledge of their culture. Founder Shannon McQuaide comes from a "fire family" with several firefighters including her father and her sister.
Active Wellness designs fitness amenities and delivers wellness programs with the ultimate goal to inspire people to live actively. Services include fitness center design, equipment procurement, operations management, high-tech programming, site marketing and member engagement, plus a testing lab for pre-market fitness products. Founded in 2014 by a team of industry experts, Active's mission is to partner with clients to create engaging environments to motivate their employees, residents, patients, and community to live healthier, more active lives.