International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 383–394

Cold habituation does not improve manual dexterity during rest and exercise in 5 °C

  • Matthew D. Muller
  • Yongsuk Seo
  • Chul-Ho Kim
  • Edward J. Ryan
  • Brandon S. Pollock
  • Keith J. Burns
  • Ellen L. Glickman
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00484-013-0633-3

Cite this article as:
Muller, M.D., Seo, Y., Kim, CH. et al. Int J Biometeorol (2014) 58: 383. doi:10.1007/s00484-013-0633-3
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Abstract

When exposed to a cold environment, a barehanded person experiences pain, cold sensation, and reduced manual dexterity. Both acute (e.g. exercise) and chronic (e.g. cold acclimatization or habituation) processes might lessen these negative effects. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of cold habituation on physiology, perception, and manual dexterity during rest, exercise, and recovery in 5 °C. Six cold weather athletes (CWA) and eight non habituated men (NON) volunteered to participate in a repeated measures cross-over design. The protocol was conducted in 5 °C and was 90 min of resting cold exposure, 30 min of cycle ergometry exercise (50 % VO2 peak), and 60 min of seated recovery. Core and finger skin temperature, metabolic rate, Purdue Pegboard dexterity performance, hand pain, thermal sensation, and mood were quantified. Exercise-induced finger rewarming (EIFRW) was calculated for each hand. During 90 min of resting exposure to 5 °C, the CWA had a smaller reduction in finger temperature, a lower metabolic rate, less hand pain, and less negative mood. Despite this cold habituation, dexterity performance was not different between groups. In response to cycle ergometry, EIFRW was greater in CWA (~12 versus 7 °C) and occurred at lower core temperatures (37.02 versus 37.31 °C) relative to NON but dexterity was not greater during post-exercise recovery. The current data indicate that cold habituated men (i.e., CWA) do not perform better on the Purdue Pegboard during acute cold exposure. Furthermore, despite augmented EIFRW in CWA, dexterity during post-exercise recovery was similar between groups.

Keywords

Psychomotor performanceFinger blood flowSkin temperatureMetabolic rateBody temperature

Abbreviations

ACE

Acute cold exposure

CONT

Continuous cycle ergometry

CWA

Cold weather athletes/cold habituated men

EIFRW

Exercise induced finger rewarming

EIFRWmax

Maximum increase in finger temperature due to exercise

EIFRWonset

The first instance of a 5 °C increase in finger temperature due to exercise

INT

Interval cycle ergometry

NON

Non habituated control subjects

POMS

Profile of Mood State

PP

Purdue Pegboard

PPa

Purdue Pegboard dominant hand task

PPb

Purdue Pegboard bimanual task

PPsum

The sum of PPa and PPb subtests

REC

Post-exercise recovery

Tlf

Left finger temperature

Trf

Right finger temperature

TMD

Total mood disturbance, derived from POMS

TS

Thermal sensation

VO2

Oxygen uptake

Copyright information

© ISB 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew D. Muller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongsuk Seo
    • 1
  • Chul-Ho Kim
    • 1
    • 3
  • Edward J. Ryan
    • 1
    • 4
  • Brandon S. Pollock
    • 1
  • Keith J. Burns
    • 1
  • Ellen L. Glickman
    • 1
  1. 1.Exercise and Environmental Physiology LaboratoryKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Penn State Hershey Heart & Vascular InstitutePenn State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Mayo Clinic, Human Integrative and Environmental Physiology LaboratoryRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Science DepartmentChatham UniversityPittsburghUSA