Comparison of thermal responses between rest and leg exercise in water

M. M. Toner, M. N. Sawka, W. L. Holden, K. B. Pandolf

Abstract

This study examined both the thermal and metabolic responses of individuals in cool (30 degrees C, n = 9) and cold (18 degrees C, n = 7; 20 degrees C, n = 2) water. Male volunteers were immersed up to the neck for 1 h during both seated rest (R) and leg exercise (LE). In 30 degrees C water, metabolic rate (M) remained unchanged over time during both R (115 W, 60 min) and LE (528 W, 60 min). Mean skin temperature (Tsk) declined (P less than 0.05) over 1 h during R, while Tsk was unchanged during LE. Rectal (Tre) and esophageal (Tes) temperatures decreased (P less than 0.05) during R (delta Tre, -0.5 degrees C; delta Tes, -0.3 degrees C) and increased (P less than 0.05) during LE (delta Tre, 0.4 degrees C; Tsk, 0.4 degrees C). M, Tsk, Tre, and Tes were higher (P less than 0.05) during LE compared with R. In cool water, all regional heat flows (leg, chest, and arm) were generally greater (P less than 0.05) during LE than R. In cold water, M increased (P less than 0.05) over 1 h during R but remained unchanged during LE. Tre decreased (P less than 0.05) during R (delta Tre, -0.8 degrees C) but was unchanged during LE. Tes declined (P less than 0.05) during R (delta Tes, -0.4 degrees C) but increased (P less than 0.05) during LE (delta Tes, 0.2 degrees C). M, Tre, and Tes were higher (P less than 0.05), whereas Tsk was not different during LE compared with R at 60 min.