Male student training on stationary bike in front of class

  • 12 May 2021
  • 5 min read

We are looking for volunteers to participate in a research study looking at speeding up the process of heat acclimation which allows people to cope and perform better in hot environments. We are looking for healthy male individuals to undergo one of two heat acclimation programmes and have their responses examined. We are also interested in your fitness and ability to cope in low oxygen and hot conditions separate from the heat acclimation programme.

Heat acclimation is usually a time consuming process, requiring a few weeks to fully complete. The findings of this research will be used to inform a new and more time efficient method of preparing military personnel for deployment to hot environments. By participating, you will gain experience of a working sports science laboratory and obtain detailed exercise performance data that would be expensive to have done elsewhere. Volunteers will receive an ‘inconvenience allowance’ for their time.

The study will be running for a period of years to increase the number of participants completing the research as much as possible. However, each participant will only be required to attend the laboratory for data collection for 9-15 sessions over a 2-3 week period depending on which heat acclimation programme they are assigned to. Also, laboratory attendance for each session does not span full days.

Participants must be:

  •  Physically active and healthy
  • Have not visited high altitude or hot countries within the past 3 months
  • Diagnosed cardiovascular, metabolic or respiratory conditions (excluding asthma)
  • Prior history of heat illness
  • Male

What will participants be doing?

Participants will be asked to complete one of two heat acclimation programmes. Both consist of eight, 75-minute exposures to a hot environment. In one of the programmes you will be required to complete one exposure per day, for eight consecutive days (Traditional heat acclimation). In the other programme you will complete the eight exposures over a two consecutive day period with breaks in between (four exposures per day; Condensed heat acclimation).

Participants will also be required to complete 3 other types of tests before and after the heat acclimation programme. This will allow us to assess if the heat acclimation programmes have been effective, and to compare the
effectiveness of the different programmes. 1) a maximal exercise test to look at fitness levels, 2) a test in low oxygen conditions, simulating 2750m high altitude or 15% oxygen and 3) a cycling exercise test in a hot environment.

Specific information on how each of these tests will be done is available in the information sheet when participants express their interest.

During the course of each programme, participants will have some samples of blood, urine and sweat taken to further investigate the effectiveness of the heat acclimation.

Time commitment

The frequency of visits to the laboratory will depend on the allocated heat acclimation programme. The condensed programme requires 2 full days of lab time. The once-daily heat exposures (traditional) will require a few hours either in the morning or the afternoon.

– Fitness test: 1.5 hours
– Low oxygen test: 1.5 hours
– Exercise heat stress test: 3.5 hours

The specific commitments of this research will be further clarified when participants express interest. Any participants commitments outside of the programme will be taken into consideration when organising visit times.

Incentive

Participants will receive up to £150 (pro rata) upon completion of the research programme.

Apply

To express interest in volunteering for this project and for further information please contact the project lead Charlotte Stevens by email: charlotte.stevens@port.ac.uk

Volunteers must be:

  • Age: 18-40
  • Gender: Male
  • Staff/Student/public

More Information:

    This testing has been reviewed and been given the following ethics code: 1017/MoDREC/19

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