Influence of relative humidity on prolonged exercise capacity in a warm environment

Ronald J Maughan, Hidenori Otani, Phillip Watson
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2012, 112 (6): 2313-21
This study examined the influence of relative humidity on endurance exercise performance in a warm environment. Eight male volunteers performed four cycle exercise trials at 70% maximum oxygen uptake until volitional exhaustion in an environmental chamber maintained at 30.2 ± 0.2°C. Volunteers were tested under four relative humidity (rh) conditions: 24, 40, 60 and 80%. Core and weighted mean skin temperature, heart rate, skin blood flow, and cutaneous vascular conductance were recorded at rest and at regular intervals during exercise. Mean ± SD time to exhaustion was 68 ± 19, 60 ± 17, 54 ± 17, and 46 ± 14 min at 24, 40, 60, and 80% rh, respectively (P < 0.001); exercise time was significantly less at 60% (P = 0.013) and 80% (P = 0.005) rh than recorded at 24% rh. There were no differences in core temperature (P = 0.480) and heart rate (P = 0.097) between trials. Core temperature at exhaustion was 39.0 ± 0.3°C at 24, 40, and 60% rh and 39.1 ± 0.3°C at 80% rh (P = 0.159). Mean skin temperature at the point of exhaustion was higher at 80% rh than at 24% rh (P < 0.001). Total sweat loss was similar between trials (P = 0.345), but sweating rate was higher at 60 and 80% rh than at 24% rh (P < 0.001). The results suggest that exercise capacity at moderate intensity in a warm environment is progressively impaired as the relative humidity increases.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"