The Effects of Exposure Time, Pressure and Cold on Hand Skin Temperature and Manual Performance when Wearing Three-Fingered Neoprene Gloves

Effets de la Durée d’Exposition, de la Pression et du Froid sur la Température des Mains et sur la Dextérité d’une Personne Portant des Gants en Néoprène à Trois Doigts


  1. Morrison, J.B.
  2. Zander, J.K.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Shearwater Human Engineering, Vancouver BC (CAN)
Cold water immersion and protective gloves are associated with decreased manual performance. Although neoprene gloves slow hand cooling, there is little information on whether they provide sufficient protection when diving in cold water. Nine divers wearing 3-fingered neoprene gloves and dry suits were immersed in water at 25°C and at 4°C, at depths of 0.5 msw and 40 msw in a hyperbaric chamber. Skin temperatures were measured at the hand, forearm, chest and head. Grip strength, tactile sensitivity and manual dexterity were measured at 3 time intervals. There was an exponential decay in finger and back of hand skin temperatures with exposure time in 4°C water. Finger and back of hand skin temperatures were lower at 40 msw than at 0.5 msw. There was no effect of pressure or temperature on grip strength. Tactile sensitivity decreased linearly with finger skin temperature at both pressures. Manual dexterity was not affected by finger skin temperature at 0.5 msw, but decreased with fall in finger skin temperature at 40 msw. Results show that neoprene gloves do not provide adequate thermal protection in 4°C water. Impairment of manual performance is dependent on the type of task, depth and exposure time.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

underwater;immersion;skin temperature;hyperbaric;grip strength;tactile sensitivity
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2007-164 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Apr 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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