Post-exercise cooling techniques in hot, humid conditions

Martin Barwood, S. Davey, Jim House, Mike Tipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major sporting events are often held in hot and humid environmental conditions. Cooling techniques have been used to reduce the risk of heat illness following exercise. This study compared the efficacy of five cooling techniques, hand immersion (HI), whole body fanning (WBF), an air cooled garment (ACG), a liquid cooled garment (LCG) and a phase change garment (PCG), against a natural cooling control condition (CON) over two periods between and following exercise bouts in 31°C, 70%RH air. Nine males [age 22 (3) years; height 1.80 (0.04) m; mass 69.80 (7.10) kg] exercised on a treadmill at a maximal sustainable work intensity until rectal temperature (T re) reached 38.5°C following which they underwent a resting recovery (0–15 min; COOL 1). They then recommenced exercise until T re again reached 38.5°C and then undertook 30 min of cooling with (0–15 min; COOL 2A), and without face fanning (15–30 min; COOL 2B). Based on mean body temperature changes (COOL 1), WBF was most effective in extracting heat: CON 99 W; WBF: 235 W; PCG: 141 W; HI: 162 W; ACG: 101 W; LCG: 49 W) as a consequence of evaporating more sweat. Therefore, WBF represents a cheap and practical means of post-exercise cooling in hot, humid conditions in a sporting setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-396
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


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