Meir, RA 1992, 'The effect of jersey type on thermoregulatory responses during exercise in a warm humid environment', PhD thesis Deakin University, Melbourne, Vic.
The thermoregulatory responses of subjects wearing two different forms of rugby league jersey, one with plastic sponsorship recognition and numbering (trial Gl) and one without (trial G2), and a lightweight alternative (trial G3), were compared with a trial without any form of upper body garment (trial GO). Ten male volunteers, mean age 20.9 (±2.3) years, height 179.8 (±4.7) cm, weight 80.2 (±8.9) kg, and body surface area 1.99 (±0.13) m2, participated in this study. Subjects had a mean maximal oxygen uptake capacity of 56.0 (±6.3) ml.kg.min-1 and a sum of 8 skinfolds of 80.6 (±23.8) mm. Subjects were exercised at approximately 50% of maximal oxygen uptake in a warm humid environment for 50 minutes. Mean ambient temperature was 27.6°C (±0.32) with a relative humidity of 64.7% (±1.44). Measurements of core and skin (7 sites) temperature, heart rate, oxygen uptake, plasma volume, peak lactate concentration, and pre- and post-trial body weight, hematocrit and garment weight were recorded. The statistical results showed that all subjects experienced significant (p ≤.0001) decreases in body weight representing a percentage decrease ranging from 1.2-1.3%. No significant difference was found between trials with respect to body weight change. No significant effect of garment type was found on pre- and post-trial hematocrit, plasma volume changes or peak blood lactic acid concentration. However, mean peak lactate was highest for trial Gl (5.6 mmol.L-1 ±2.2) and lowest for trial G3 (4.6 mmol.L-1 ±1.27). Post-trial core temperature was significantly (p≤ .0001) higher than the resting value; no significant difference was found between trials. The mean absolute increase for all experimental trials was 0.9°C. A significant (p≤.005) difference between mean total (7 sites) skin temperature was found with a post-hoc test revealing that trials Gl and G2 were significantly higher than trial GO; no significant difference was found when comparing trial G3 with trial GO or when comparing the garments between each other. Mean skin temperature under the garment (4 sites) was found to be significantly (p≤.05) higher for all trials involving a garment when compared with mean skin temperature outside (3 sites) the garment; no significant difference was found between trials. Mean oxygen uptake was significantly different between trials (p≤.005), with trial Gl and G3 found to be significantly lower than trial GO; no difference was found when comparing the garments with each other. Post-trial garment weights were significantly (p≤.001) heavier than pre-trial and were significantly (p≤.0001) different when compared with each other. There was no significant effect on heart rate, haematocrit, plasma volume changes, peak blood lactic acid concentration, or core temperature due to garment type. However, differences in skin temperature suggest that the garment used in trial G3 may have a benefit. Further research should consider the impact of increased exercise intensity and/or environmental temperature and humidity on the measured parameters while wearing the garments described in this study.