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Effectiveness of an indoor preparation program to increase thermal resilience in elderly for heat waves

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Author: Daanen, H.A.M. · Herweijer, J.A.
Source:Building and Environment, 83, 115-119
Identifier: 502639
doi: doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2014.04.010
Keywords: Health · Heat strain · Elderly · Sweat rate · Age · Acclimation · Heat · Climatology · Heating · Sweat rates · Software testing · Air quality · Indoor air · Humidity · Temperature effect · Ventilation · Healthy Living · Human Performances · TPI - Training & Performance Innovations · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Elderly indoors can be subject to considerable heat strain during heat waves. We investigated if a short indoor acclimation (HA) program leads to improved resilience to heat. Although full HA takes about ten days, the main changes occur in the first days, leading to reduced heat strain with similar stress. This study investigates changes after 3 days HA in 8 elderly (>75 y) and 8 young (20-30 y) females. The pretest (Monday) and post-test (Friday) was a 20-min 50 W cycle exercise test in 35 °C/40% relative humidity (RH); the indoor preparation program or HA consisting of one hour exercise in the same climate aimed at reaching a gastrointestinal temperature (Tgi) of 38 °C. HA did not result in any changes in Tgi, mean skin temperature, heart rate, weight loss or thermal sensation. The elderly felt more fatigued but evaporated 28% less sweat than the young group during the tests. We conclude that 3-day HA for one hour daily is insufficient to cause physiological benefits in young and elderly females. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserverd.