Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Sparks, Kenneth

Subject Headings

Heat -- Physiological effect, Exercise -- Physiological aspects, Body temperature -- Regulation, Physiology


The body's ability to dissipate heat depends on environmental conditions of temperature, humidity, and air movement. An athlete's conditioning and acclimation to heat greatly improves performance in hot conditions. However, even then athletes can experience heat related problems such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the "Dragon Heat Polar Seat" in preventing hyperthermia in athletes competing in hot, humid climates. Methods: Ten healthy active participants (5 males 5 females) were required to complete three sessions that consisted of a VO2max test, a treatment run and control run. During the treatment and control run, in a counterbalanced design, the subject exercised in an environmental chamber (86.2°F 35 relative humidity (RH)) for 53min at 80 VO2max. The subjects ran for 5 minutes on a motorized treadmill followed by 3 minutes of rest and either sat on a cooling bench during the rest periods for the treatment run, or sat on the bench with no cooling during the rest periods in the control run. Each subject completed six repetitions of 5 minutes running and 3 minutes resting during each trial. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in core temperature, heart rate, VO2, rate of perceived exertion lactic acid accumulation or sweat loss (p>.05). There were noticeable differences in performance when using the treatment protocol especially the on RPE, which was lower. Subjects stated that the exercise felt easier and their body felt recharged after the cooling treatment during the rest period. Conclusion: Although not significant, the "Dragon Heat Polar Seat" appeared to show promise as a cooling technique during exercise in hot, humid climates

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