Cool, air blown under football shoulder pads reduces body temperature and heart rate, research finds

July 10, 2008

ORLANDO, Florida - Cool, dry air flowing between the athlete and their football pads reduces core body temperature and heart rate dramatically, thereby reducing the likelihood of heat-related illness, a study released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes shows. The study found that air forced under the uniform, rather than misted, cool air blown on to the uniform, could be a helpful measure to avoid heat-related illness in football players. This study, funded by a grant from NFL Charities, represents a novel advancement in the pursuit of methods to decrease the incidence of heat related illness.

"Heat stroke in football players has unfortunately been brought to national attention following the deaths of five football players between 2001 and 2004," said lead author Mary Beth Horodyski, EdD, Associate Professor and Director of Research for the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. "We wanted to look at this new technology for cooling the athlete by blowing cool, dry air underneath their uniform to see how it would affect body temperature and heart rate."

Heat-related illness happens when the systems used by the body to regulate heat become overwhelmed and cannot compensate. Under these conditions, heat and body temperature climbs uncontrollably. Since 1995, 31 football players have died from heat stroke (23 high school, 5 college, and 2 professional, and one sandlot*).

This study monitored 15 athletes wearing shoulder pads, shorts and football helmets who participated in two testing sessions: on one day no air was blown under their shoulder pads and on another day cool, dry air was blown under the shoulder pads during rest periods and the recovery session. Three, 15-minute exercise cycles, separated by 10-minute rest periods were followed by a 20-minute recovery session. The exercise cycles consisted of jogging and sprinting on a treadmill in a room with a heat index of approximately 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study found that on the testing session day when the athletes had the cool, dry air blown under their shoulder pads, there was as much as 1 degree Fahrenheit reduction in core body temperature. The most dramatic difference in core body temperature was during the third recovery period. The athletes' average core body temperature was 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit for the cool dry air testing sessions, but for the same time period the average core body temperature was 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit without the cool dry air.

Additionally, with the cool, dry air the athletes had a significantly lower heart rate of about 8 to 10 beats per minute than without the cool, dry air.

"Obviously when the air was blown underneath the uniforms, the athletes benefited," said Dr. Horodyski. "Any small amount of reduction in core body temperature and decrease in heart rate could be the difference between an athlete suffering a heat-related illness or not. We need to continue investigating new technology such as this to prevent heat illness."
-end-
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries.

For more information, please contact AOSSM Director of Communications, Lisa Weisenberger at 847/292-4900, or e-mail her at lisa@sportsmed.org. You can also visit the AOSSM Web site at www.sportsmed.org.

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Related Heart Rate Articles from Brightsurf:

Women veterans with PTSD have higher rate of heart disease
Women veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were 44% more likely to develop ischemic heart disease including heart attacks, compared to those without PTSD.

Flu vaccine rate less than 25% in young adults with heart disease, despite increased risk
In 2018, only about 25% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 with any cardiovascular disease received a flu shot, and in those with a history of a heart attack, only about 20% were vaccinated.

Depression risk detected by measuring heart rate changes
For the first time doctors have shown that measuring changes in 24-hour heart rate can reliably indicate whether or not someone is depressed.

Death rate dramatically less for young heart attack survivors who quit smoking
Among young people who have had a heart attack, quitting smoking is associated with a substantial benefit.

Say no to vaping: Blood pressure, heart rate rises in healthy, young nonsmokers
New research finds that nicotine-filled e-cigarettes cause increases in heart rate and blood pressure in young people, health issues that remain even after a vaping session.

Heart rate measurements of wearable monitors vary by activity, not skin color
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that while different wearable technologies, like smart watches and fitness trackers, can accurately measure heart rate across a variety of skin tones, the accuracy between devices begins to vary wildly when they measure heart rate during different types of everyday activities, like typing.

Researchers report first recording of a blue whale's heart rate
With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild.

Pupil dilation and heart rate, analyzed by AI, may help spot autism early
Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders often aren't diagnosed until a child is a few years of age, when behavioral interventions and speech/occupational therapy become less effective.

Heart rate variation due to stress affects auditory attention
Study shows that brain activity related to auditory perception parallels heart rate, offering new perspectives for the treatment of attention and communication disorders.

In HIE, lower heart rate variability signals stressed newborns
In newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, lower heart rate variability correlates with autonomic manifestations of stress shortly after birth, underscoring the importance of this reading as a valuable biomarker, according to Children's research presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting.

Read More: Heart Rate News and Heart Rate Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.