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Female thermal sensitivity to hot and cold during rest and exercise

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posted on 05.11.2015 by Nicola Gerrett, Yacine Ouzzahra, Bernard Redortier, Thomas Voelcker, George Havenith
Regional differences in thermal sensation to a hot or cold stimulus are often limited to male participants, in a rested state and cover minimal locations. Therefore, magnitude sensation to both a hot and cold stimulus were investigated during rest and exercise in 8 females (age: 20.4±1.4years, mass: 61.7±4.0kg, height: 166.9±5.4cm, VO2max: 36.8±4.5ml·kg-1·min-1). Using a repeated measures cross over design, participants rested in a stable environment (22.3±0.9°C, 37.7±5.5% RH) whilst a thermal probe (25cm2), set at either 40°C or 20°C, was applied in a balanced order to 29 locations across the body. Participants reported their thermal sensation after 10s of application. Following this, participants cycled at 50% VO2max for 20min and then 30% VO2max whilst the sensitivity test was repeated. Females experienced significantly stronger magnitude sensations to the cold than the hot stimulus (5.5±1.7 and 4.3±1.3, p<0.05, respectively). A significant effect of location was found during the cold stimulation (p<0.05). Thermal sensation was greatest at the head then the torso and declined towards the extremities. No significant effect of location was found in response to the hot stimulation and the pattern across the body was more homogenous. In comparison to rest, exercise caused a significant overall reduction in thermal sensation (5.2±1.5 and 4.6±1.7, respectively, p<0.05). Body maps were produced for both stimuli during rest and exercise, which highlight sensitive areas across the body.

Funding

The present research was done in the context of an industry-co-funded PhD by Oxylane Research (Decathlon R&D Department) and the Loughborough Design School (Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre).

History

School

  • Design

Published in

Physiology and Behavior

Volume

152

Pages

11 - 19

Citation

GERRETT, N. ... et al, 2015. Female thermal sensitivity to hot and cold during rest and exercise. Physiology and Behavior, 152 (Part A), pp. 11 - 19

Publisher

Crown Copyright © Published by Elsevier Inc

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is an Open Access article published by Elsevier and distributed under the terms of Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

ISSN

0031-9384

eISSN

1873-507X

Language

en

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