, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1420-1427
Date: 10 May 2008

Exercise-Associated Thermographic Changes in Young and Elderly Subjects

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This study aimed at evaluating the thermographic changes associated with localized exercise in young and elderly subjects. An exercise protocol using 1 kg load was applied during 3 min to the knee flexors of 14 elderly (67 ± 5 years) and 15 young (23 ± 2 years) healthy subjects. The posterior thigh’s skin temperature of the exercised limb and contralateral limb were measured by infrared thermography on pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise, and during the 10-min period post-exercise. Difference (p < 0.01) between elderly and young subjects was observed on pre-exercise temperature. Although differences were not observed between pre-exercise and immediately post-exercise temperature in the exercised limb, thermographic profile displayed heat concentration in exercised areas for both groups. Temperature reduction was only observed for the young group on the 10-min post-exercise (p < 0.05) in the exercised limb (30.7 ± 1.7 to 30.3 ± 1.5 °C). In contrast, there was a temperature reduction post-exercise (p < 0.01) in the contralateral limb for both groups. These results present new evidences that elderly and young subjects display similar capacity of heat production; however, the elderly subjects presented a lower resting temperature and slower heat dissipation. This work contributes to improve the understanding about temperature changes in elderly subjects and may present implications to the sports and rehabilitation programs.