Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effects of two types of clothing on seasonal heat tolerance


The aim of this study was to look at changes in seasonal heat tolerance due to acclimatization produced by different types of clothing. A group of 12 female adults served as subjects in the study which lasted for 3 months from April to June during which the ambient temperature gradually rose. Of the group 6 of them (skirt group) wore knee-length skirts daily, and the others (trouser group) were dressed in full trousers during this acclimatization period. The heat tolerance before and after the acclimatization period was compared between the two groups under conditions in which relative humidity was 30% and ambient temperature was raised to 37°C. Rectal temperature, mean skin temperature and the loss of body mass caused by sweating were measured in the two groups. Before the acclimatization period, no significant differences were found between the two groups. However, observations after the acclimatization period showed higher rectal temperatures in control conditions (ambient air temperature 28°C, relative humidity 60%) in the skirt group. A lower increment of rectal temperature during heat exposure (ambient air temperature 37°C, relative humidity 30%) was also found in this group. Finally, the subjects in the skirt group lost less body mass due to sweating during heat exposure. Consequently, the overall index of physiological strain in the skirt group tended to show a lower value after the period of warm acclimatization. It was concluded that the subjects wearing knee-length skirts improved their heat tolerance with the advance of the seasons.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adam JM, Ferres HM (1954) Observation on oral and rectal temperatures in humid tropics and in a temperate climate. J Physiol (Lond) 125:21

  2. Bazett HC (1949) The regulation of body temperature. In: Newburgh LH (ed) Physiology of heat regulation and the science of clothing. Saunder, New York, pp 109–192

  3. Driver AFM (1958) Physiological characteristics in relation to climate preference. J Appl Physiol 13:430–434

  4. Fox RH, Crockford GW, Hampton IFG, MacGibbon R (1967) A thermoregulatory function test using controlled hyperthermia. J Appl Physiol 23:267–275

  5. Gisolfi CV (1973) Work-heat tolerance derived from interval training. J Appl Physiol 35:349–354

  6. Gisolfi C, Robinson S (1969) Relations between physical training, acclimatization and heat tolerance. J Appl Physiol 26:530–534

  7. Hardy JD, DuBois EH (1938) The technic of measuring radiation and convection. J Nutr 15:461–475

  8. Henane R, Bittel J (1975) Changes of thermal balance induced by passive heating in resting man. J Appl Physiol 38:294–299

  9. Jeong WS, Tokura H (1988) Effects of wearing two different forms of garment on thermoregulation in men resting at 10°C. Eur J Appl Physiol 57:627–631

  10. Jeong WS, Tokura H (1993) Different thermal conditions of the extremities affect thermoregulation in clothed man. Eur J Appl Physiol 67:481–485

  11. Kuno Y (1956) The acclimatization of the human sweat apparatus to heat. In: Robert FP (ed) Human perspiration. Thomas, Springfield, Ill., pp 318–335

  12. Ladell WS (1964) Terrestrial animals in humid heat: man. In: Dill DB (ed) Adaptation to the environment. American Physiological Society, Washington, DC, pp 625–644

  13. Li X, Tokura H, Midorikawa T (1994a) The effects of two different types of clothing on seasonal cold acclimation of thermophysiological responses. Int J Biometeorol 38:40–43

  14. Li X, Tokura H, Midorikawa T (1994b) The effects of two types of clothing on seasonal cold tolerance. Eur J Appl Physiol 69:498–501

  15. Li X, Tokura H, Midorikawa T (1995) The effects of two different types of clothing on seasonal warm acclimatization. Int J Biometeorol 38:111–115

  16. Nadel ER, Pandolf KB, Roberts MF, Stolwijk JAJ (1974) Mechanisms of thermal acclimatization to exercise and heat. J Appl Physiol 37:515–520

  17. Nielsen B, Hales JRS, Strange S, Christensen NJ, Warberg J, Saltin B (1993) Human circulatory and thermoregulatory adaptations with heat acclimation and exercise in a hot, dry environment. J Physiol (Lond) 460:467–485

  18. Ogata K (1973) Problems on acclimatization: cold and heat tolerance. In: Ogata K (ed) Adaptation (in Japanese). Yisiyaku syuppansya, Tokyo, pp 105–121

  19. Schmidt-Nielsen B, Schmidt-Nielsen K, Houpt TR, Jarnum SA (1956) Water balance of the camel. Am J Physiol 185:185–194

  20. Wyndham CH, Strydom NB, Morrison JF, Du Toit FD, Kraan JG (1954) Responses of unacclimatized men under stress of heat and work. J Appl Physiol 6:681–686

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Hiromi Tokura.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Li, X., Tokura, H. The effects of two types of clothing on seasonal heat tolerance. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 72, 287–291 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00599686

Download citation

Key words

  • Clothing-seasonal heat tolerance
  • Rectal temperature
  • Mass loss
  • Acclimatization