Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Mariela Fernandez

Committee Member

Deborah Tysor

Committee Member

Michael Godfrey


According to the Outdoor Industry Association (2020), about 3.4 million people across the United States went whitewater-rafting in 2019. The majority of the research on whitewater rafting has focused on guest injuries, with less attention on the whitewater raft guides, who have an arduous job and are at risk for shoulder, back, and hip injuries. In addition to these injuries, rafting guides also experience bilateral imbalances from utilizing a dominant guiding side. One way to prevent these types of injuries and imbalances is to improve functional movement, strength, and range of motion (ROM). The goal of this study was to introduce a novel preventative exercise regimen targeting functional movement, flexibility, and strength. This study specifically examined whether improvements in functional movement, stability and flexibility differed for whitewater raft guides who participated in the exercise program in addition to guiding their regular season [Treatment] versus whitewater raft guides who only worked the season [Control]. It was hypothesized that raft guides who participated in the program [Treatment] experienced a significant increase in functional movement, flexibility and stability when compared to the raft guides who do not participate in the program [Control]. Findings indicated that the exercise program was not effective in significantly improving the Treatments group’s functional movement, flexibility, and stability when compared to the Control group as only the shoulder external rotation showed improvements.



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