Physical and cognitive performance during long-term cold weather operations


  1. Marrao, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);Manitoba Univ, Winnipeg MAN (CAN) Dept of Physical Education and Recreation Studies
The effects of long term cold weather exposure on physical and cognitive performance were examined on 28 healthy males in a field setting. These subjects were divided into five groups that participated in cold weather survival training during a six day period on different occasions during the winter season. The subjects were provided with sufficient clothing for cold protection and they endured continuous exposure to cold during their last 48 h in the field. Despite mean (+ or - SD) air temperatures (Tair) over the six days ranging from -24.4 + or - 3.9 to 4.4 + or - 2.5C among the groups, deep body temperature at the time of testing remained normal averaging about 37.3C. However, finger temperature (Tfinger) was significantly correlated to Tair as follows: Tfinger = 16.7 + 0.28-Tair (r = 0.53; p < 0.0001). Not surprisingly, the coldest-exposed group also reported the highest rating of cold sensation, although this value fell between slightly cold to cool but comfortable. Grip strength, knot-tying, and nut-bolt assembly performance decreased most for the coldest-exposed group which is consistent with the low Tfinger measured for this group (9.4 + or - 3.4C). Their respective percentages of maximum performance were 87.5 + or - 9.0, 69.2 + or - 12.1, and 83.8 + or - 18.1%. TRUNCATED
Report Number
DCIEM-CR-2001-111 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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