Sauana exposure for heat adaptation

  • Willmott, Ashley G.B. (PI)
  • JAMES, Carl (CoI)
  • Gibson, Oliver R. (CoI)
  • Maxwell, Neil S. (CoI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Introduction: Passive heating is receiving increasing attention within human performance and health contexts. A low-cost, portable steam sauna pod may offer an additional tool for those seeking to manipulate physiological (cardiovascular, thermoregulatory and sudomotor) and perceptual responses for improving sporting or health profiles. This study aimed to 1) report the different levels of heat stress and determine the pods’ inter-unit reliability, and 2) quantify the reliability of physiological and perceptual responses to passive heating.

Method: In part 1, five pods were assessed for temperature and relative humidity (RH) every 5 min across 70 min of heating for each of the 9 settings. In part 2, twelve males (age: 24 ± 4 years) completed two 60 min trials of passive heating (3 × 20 min at 44 ◦C/99% RH, separated by 1 week). Heart rate (HR), rectal (Trₑctₐl) and tympanic temperature (Ttympₐnic) were recorded every 5 min, thermal comfort (Tcₒmfₒrt) and sensation (Tsₑnsₐtiₒn)every 10 min, mean arterial pressure (MAP) at each break period and sweat rate (SR) after exiting the pod. Results: In part 1, setting 9 provided the highest temperature (44.3 ± 0.2 ◦C) and longest time RH remained stable at 99% (51±7 min). Inter-unit reliability data demonstrated agreement between pods for settings 5–9 (intra class correlation [ICC] >0.9), but not for settings 1–4 (ICC <0.9). In part 2, between-visits, high corre- lations, and low typical error of measurement (TEM) and coefficient of variation (CV) were found for Trₑctₐl, HR, MAP, SR, and Tcₒmfₒrt, but not for Ttympₐnic or Tsₑnsₐtiₒn. A peak Trₑctₐl of 38.09 ± 0.30 ◦C, HR of 124 ± 15 b min⁻¹ and a sweat loss of 0.73 ± 0.33 L were reported. No between-visit differences (p > 0.05) were observed for Trₑctₐl, Ttympₐnic, Tsₑnsₐtiₒn or Tcₒmfₒrt, however HR (+3 b.min⁻¹) and MAP (+4 mmHg) were greater in visit 1 vs. 2 (p < 0.05). en-units. The highest setting (44 ◦C/ H) also provides reliable but modest adjustments in physiological and perceptual responses."
Effective start/end date1/05/23 → …


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