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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 Apr 12

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.22.13627-3


language: English

Comparison of the effects of high and low levels of solar radiations on exercise capacity in hot outdoor environments

Takashi NAITO 1, 2 , Tatsuya SAITO 2, 3, Koji MURAISHI 4, 5, 6, Hideyuki TAKAHASHI 2, 7

1 Faculty of Law, Hokkai-Gakuen University, Hokkaido, Japan; 2 Japan Institute of Sports Sciences, Tokyo, Japan; 3 Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan; 4 Japan Sport Council, Tokyo, Japan; 5 Graduate School of Community and Human Services, Rikkyo University, Saitama, Japan; 6 Faculty of Economics, Kanto Gakuen University, Gunma, Japan; 7 Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan


BACKGROUND: High solar radiation from the sun in the heat outdoor may be impaired exercise capacity. This study aimed to compare the effects of different levels of solar radiation on exercise capacity and evaluate skin temperature responses in the heat.
METHODS: Seven male participants performed cycling exercise at 60% of their maximal oxygen uptake until volitional exhaustion in hot outdoor environments (approximately 33-35°C, 40-50% relative humidity) under both clear sky (high solar radiation trial: 1062 ± 50 W/m2) and under thick clouds (low solar radiation trial: 438 ± 52 W/m2).
RESULTS: The time to exhaustion of the participants was shorter in the high solar radiation trial (32.0 ± 12.4 min) than in the low solar radiation trial (39.2 ± 18.0 min: P = .045). Mean skin temperature was significantly higher in the high solar radiation trial than that in the low solar radiation trial (P < .05); however, the rectal temperature did not differ significantly between the two trials. The high solar radiation trial had narrower core-to-skin temperature gradient, greater the body heat gain from the sun, and higher rating of perceived exertion than the low solar radiation trial.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that high solar radiation during outdoor exercise in the heat causes a greater increase in skin temperature and body heat gain from the sun than low solar radiation and consequently impairs exercise capacity.

KEY WORDS: Clear sky condition; Thick cloud condition; Core temperature; Skin temperature; Time to exhaustion

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