Exercising in combat armour and helmets in hot-humid conditions: the straw that broke the camel's back
Metabolic and external heat sources are equally capable of elevating body core temperature in individuals working in hot environments. When heat loss avenues are impeded by clothing and protective equipment, the risk of exertional heat stress is further increased. There are various work-rest guidance tables available within the literature, some of these have correction factors for variations in clothing insulation, such that rest periods are lengthened and work periods shortened when clothing insulation is increased (TBMED 507). However, there is a paucity of experimental data upon which such modifications may be based. An absence of such empirical data may result either in an increased risk of exertional heat illness, or compromised operational capability, if physiological strain is over-estimated (Danielsson and Bergh, 2005). Therefore, the aim of this project was to assess the impact of wearing such body armour on physiological and cognitive function in hot-humid conditions.