Relationship between body heat content and finger temperature during cold exposure


  1. Brajkovic, D.
  2. Ducharme, M.B.
  3. Frim, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the relationship between rate of body heat storage (S), change in body heat content (increment Hb), extremity temperatures, and finger dexterity. S increment Hb, finger skin temperature (Tfing), toe skin temperature, finger dexterity, and rectal temperature were measured during active torso heating while the subjects sat in a chair and were exposed to -25C air. S and increment Hb were measured using partitional calorimetry, rather than thermometry, which was used in the majority of previous studies. Eight men were exposed to four conditions in which the clothing covering the body or the level of torso heating was modified. After 3 h, Tfing was 34.9 + or - 0.4, 31.2 + or - 1.2, 18.3 + or - 3.1, and 12.1 + or - 0.5C for the four conditions, whereas finger dexterity decreased by 0, 0, 26, and 39%, respectively. In contrast to some past studies, extremity comfort can be maintained, despite S that is slightly negative. This study also found a direct linear relationship between increment Hb and Tfing and toe skin temperature at a negative increment Hb. In addition, increment Hb was a better indicator of the relative changes in extremity temperatures and finger dexterity over time than S. TRUNCATED
Mean body temperature;Finger dexterity;Heating equipment;Torso heating;Heat storage
Report Number
DCIEM-SL-2001-115 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jan 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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