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Cool, air blown under football shoulder pads reduces body temperature and heart rate, research finds
Date:7/9/2008

ORLANDO, Florida Cool, dry air flowing between the athlete and their football pads reduces core body temperature and heart rate dramatically, thereby reducing the likelihood of heat-related illness, a study released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes shows. The study found that air forced under the uniform, rather than misted, cool air blown on to the uniform, could be a helpful measure to avoid heat-related illness in football players. This study, funded by a grant from NFL Charities, represents a novel advancement in the pursuit of methods to decrease the incidence of heat related illness.

"Heat stroke in football players has unfortunately been brought to national attention following the deaths of five football players between 2001 and 2004," said lead author Mary Beth Horodyski, EdD, Associate Professor and Director of Research for the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. "We wanted to look at this new technology for cooling the athlete by blowing cool, dry air underneath their uniform to see how it would affect body temperature and heart rate."

Heat-related illness happens when the systems used by the body to regulate heat become overwhelmed and cannot compensate. Under these conditions, heat and body temperature climbs uncontrollably. Since 1995, 31 football players have died from heat stroke (23 high school, 5 college, and 2 professional, and one sandlot*).

This study monitored 15 athletes wearing shoulder pads, shorts and football helmets who participated in two testing sessions: on one day no air was blown under their shoulder pads and on another day cool, dry air was blown under the shoulder pads during rest periods and the recovery session. Three, 15-minute exercise cycles, separated by 10-minute rest periods were followed by a 20-minute recovery session. The exercise cycl
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Contact: Lisa Weisenberger
lisa@aossm.org
847-292-4900
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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