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Sports Med. 1994 Jul;18(1):38-54.

Clothing and exercise. I: Biophysics of heat transfer between the individual, clothing and environment.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, Auburn University, Alabama.


Despite large environmental variations, the human body maintains a tightly regulated core temperature. Effective thermoregulation must balance the interaction between skin surface, clothing and ambient air. Indices of thermal stress (wet bulb globe temperature, heat stress index, maximum evaporation rate, required evaporative rate and wind chill) provide valuable information concerning the heat exchange between the individual and the environment, and serve as protective guidelines while working in environmental extremes. The role of clothing, as an interactive barrier, greatly affects thermal balance. Clothing is varied according to prevailing environmental conditions, metabolic heat production, gender and age differences, fabric thermal properties, garment design and intended use. Models (static, dynamic and human) have investigated the biophysical transfer of heat between the skin surface area, clothing and ambient air. Additionally, the role of metabolic heat production during exercise can greatly influence tolerance to thermal stress during a variety of environmental conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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