Hodder_Aylwin_2021_Physiol._Meas._42_084004.pdf (2.88 MB)
Download file

The use of infra-red thermography for the dynamic measurement of skin temperature of moving athletes during competition; methodological issues

Download (2.88 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 18.08.2021, 15:23 authored by Polly Aylwin, Sebastien Racinais, Stéphane Bermon, Alex LloydAlex Lloyd, Simon HodderSimon Hodder, George HavenithGeorge Havenith
Objective: To investigate the use of infra-red thermography (IRT) for skin temperature measurement of moving athletes during competition and its sensitivity to factors that are traditionally standardised. Approach: Thermograms were collected for 18 female athletes during the 20km racewalk at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, with a medium-wave, cooled indium antimonide (MWIR) and a long-wave, uncooled microbolometer (LWIR) infrared camera. Main results: The MWIR provided greater clarity images of motion due to a shorter exposure and response time and produced a higher percentage of acceptable images. Analysing acceptable images only, the LWIR and WMIR produced good levels of agreement, with a bias of -0.1 ± 0.6°C in mean skin temperature for the LWIR. As the surface area of an ROI was reduced, the measured temperature became less representative of the whole ROI. Compared to measuring the whole area ROI, a single central pixel produced a bias of 0.3 ± 0.3°C (MWIR) and 0.1 ± 0.4°C (LWIR) whilst using the maximum and minimum temperature pixels resulted in deviations of 1.3 ± 0.4 and -1.1 ± 0.3°C (MWIR) and 1.2 ± 0.3 and -1.3 ± 0.4°C (LWIR). The sensitivity to air and reflected temperatures was lower for the LWIR camera, due to the higher emissivity of skin in its wavelength. Significance: IRT provides an appropriate tool for the measurement of skin temperature during real-world competition and critically during athlete motion. The cheaper LWIR camera provides a feasible alternative to the MWIR in low rate of motion scenarios, with comparable precision and sensitivity to analysis. However, the LWIR is limited when higher speeds prevent the accurate measurement and ability to capture motion.


World Athletic (formerly International Association of Athletic Federation, IAAF)



  • Design and Creative Arts


  • Design

Published in

Physiological Measurement






IOP Publishing


VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Publisher statement

As the Version of Record of this article has been published on a gold open access basis under a CC BY 3.0 licence, this Published Manuscript is available for reuse under a CC BY 3.0 licence immediately. Although reasonable endeavours have been taken to obtain all necessary permissions from third parties to include their copyrighted content within this article, their full citation and copyright line may not be present in this Accepted Manuscript version. Before using any content from this article, please refer to the Version of Record on IOPscience once published for full citation and copyright details, as permission may be required. All third party content is fully copyright protected, and is not published on a gold open access basis under a CC BY licence, unless that is specifically stated in the figure caption in the Version of Record.

Acceptance date


Publication date


Copyright date









Polly Aylwin. Deposit date: 27 July 2021

Article number