Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
This study investigates the independent effects of hand anthropometry and gender
upon contact cooling responses. Subjects were selected for matching hand/finger size between
genders, with equal variation between individuals of each group. Fourteen volunteers (7 male, 7
female) participated, touching blocks of aluminium and stainless steel using the first phalanx of
the index finger with a contact force of 1.0N and 9.8N, at surface temperatures of –2°C and –
10°C. Conditions were selected in order to elicit varying rates of skin cooling upon contact.
Contact temperature (TC) of the finger-pad was measured over time using a T-type
thermocouple. Overall, no significant difference was found between the cooling responses of
males and females. In order to investigate whether differences in hand anthropometry correlated
with contact cooling response, a multiple regression approach was used. Analyses of the residual
variance in contact cooling data after the effects of material type, surface temperature and finger
contact force had been accounted for, showed that, under slow cooling conditions (over 45
seconds to reach TC = 1°C), hand size correlated significantly with contact cooling response only
when represented by index finger volume (p<0.05), and gender did not. Whilst under fast cooling
conditions (below 25 seconds to reach TC = 1°C), hand size did not correlate significantly with
contact cooling response at all, but gender had a significant effect (p<0.001). Under slow cooling
conditions, a larger finger (and most cases hands) provides a higher heat content thus giving a
slower skin cooling speed. Under fast cooling conditions, the significantly longer time required
for males to reach a TC of 1°C despite matching hand and finger size is attributed to higher
epidermal insulation provided by the thicker stratum corneum typically found in males,
combined with the higher starting skin temperature observed in the “slightly cool” environment.
JAY, O. and HAVENITH, G., 2004. Finger skin cooling on contact with cold materials: a comparison between male and female responses during short-term exposures. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 91(4), pp. 373-381
This is a pre-print. The definitive version: JAY and HAVENITH (2004) Finger skin cooling on contact with cold materials: a comparison between male and female responses during short-term exposures. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 91(4), pp. 373-381 is available at: springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=1439-6319.