A comparison of the physiological and thermoregulatory responses of children and adults exercising in hot environmental conditions

Le Rossignol, Peter (1992) A comparison of the physiological and thermoregulatory responses of children and adults exercising in hot environmental conditions. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


The purpose of this study was to examine the problem: Do children have greater thermoregulatory and physiological limitations than adults to exercise in hot environmental conditions? Children and adults were compared in hot wet and hot dry and neutral environmental conditions without radiant heat and also in hot wet environmental conditions with radiant heat. In all experiments the wind speed was maintained at 4m.sec'. The problem was examined by comparing core temperatures, skin temperatures, heart rate and sweat rates of children and adults exercising in the different hot environmental conditions. In conclusion, this study indicated that children exercising at the same relative intensity as adults in hot wet environmental conditions will have0.3-0.4'*C higher core temperatures and a 10% smaller cardiovascular reserve. Mean skin temperatures will also be 1 -2°C higher for the children. This indicates that the children will lose heat convectively at a faster rate than adults and that they do not need to produce as much sweat/kg as the adults to reach thermoequilibrium. However, when radiant heat is applied to approximately 20% of the body's surface, the convective advantage of the children is neutralized by their radiative disadvantage. The above differences between children and adults do not indicate any relative disadvantage for reaching thermo-equilibrium. However, in hot dry conditions children will reach cardiovascular limiting conditions sooner than adults as they are operating with a much smaller cardiovascular reserve. The SA/mass ratio is the most likely reason for the above cardiovascular and thermoregulatory differences between children and adults.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15328
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords Body temperature, temperature regulation, heat, exercise, children, adults
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login