North Texas Daily

Heat study taking place in P.E.B.

Heat study taking place in P.E.B.

Heat study taking place in P.E.B.
July 09
11:40 2013

JP Lugo / Staff Writer

Inside the Physical Education Building many health and fitness studies take place including a body temperature analysis involving clothing to help cool the body while working outdoors in the heat.

Dr. Brian McFarlin, a kinesiology professor and primary investigator of the study, is using data from this research to understand how the body changes core temperature when one exercises outside in the heat.

With this information, they’re also learning about the effect that different types of clothing have on working out and what types help lower the body temperature to help reduce the risk of heat related illnesses.

“We’re testing out different things that would be useful to athletes, people who exercise outside, and physical laborers such as construction workers, soldiers, police officers and anyone else who works in the heat,” Dr. McFarlin said.

The studies take place year round in the heating chamber in the PEB, and McFarlin said this study consists of raising the body temperature of the subject by approximately 2.4 Celsius, where the lowest degree of heat illnesses occur. They are closely monitored and the cooling techniques being studied are instilled on the subject for further analysis.

Kinesiology senior Audresha Pemberton said she is very much in favor of this study because there needs to be improvements in safety for those who exercise outside in hot environments such as in Texas, and simulating the heat while being monitored is a great way to do so. She also believes a possible innovation in exercise clothing to help with the heat is a step in the right direction.

“You only know if a person has really met their limits by testing, so if they can come out with that clothing, it’ll help everybody,” Pemberton said. “At the end of the day it will be beneficial to people outside.”

Research assistant Adam Venable helps record heart rate, skin temperature and core body temperature using different methods. Once used as a subject, he mentions that it feels really hot and muggy inside the heat chamber, so the biggest thing they keep their eyes on is the safety of the subjects.

“We’ll monitor their heart rate and also have an EKG on them, and there’s signs that we can look for there that they’re as stressed as can be without risk of passing out,” Venable said.

There is compensation for those who complete the study. Students can stop by PEB 113 for further information on how to participate.

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