Swimming in aquatic environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Swimmers exercise in a unique environment. The increased hydrostatic pressure of water compared with air, coupled with the horizontal body position and periods of breath holding, affect physiological and biomechanical responses to swimming. On top of this, movements are slower in water, and heat exchange differs between the two mediums. Swimmers also exercise in a range of different environments. For example, commercial swimming pools operate within tightly regulated hygiene standards and water temperatures, whereas open-water swimming environments are naturally more variable. Here, factors such as air and water temperature, ambient and radiative temperatures, wetsuit use, wave profiles and fresh and saline water can vary enormously. These can impact safety requirements and will affect the physiological and biomechanical responses to swimming. This chapter will focus on the practical considerations for conducting physiological testing of swimmers in aquatic environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Sport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines: Volume I – Sport Testing
EditorsR. C. Richard Davison, Paul M. Smith, James Hopker, Michael J. Price, Florentina Hettinga, Garry Tew, Lindsay Bottoms
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781003045281
ISBN (Print)9780367492465, 9780367491338
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022


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