Daily activity and body temperature

  • Paul Webb


Body temperature varies between 36 and 39° C in states ranging from sleep to high levels of sustained exercise, but it is not known whether this continuum of body temperature is related to a continuum of activity. Calorimetric studies of sedentary days were undertaken with four levels of food intake, men doing mild sustained exercise, and men and women walking and cycling vigorously. Steady states of metabolism were followed by slow exponential changes to steady states of heat loss (ΣQ), followed in turn by changes in rectal temperature (Tre). Regression analysis showed a continuous, curvilinear relationship between ΣQ andTre from the low end of the activity spectrum (50 W) to progressively higher levels of exercise (600 W). These related continua of activity and body temperature appear to be the result of heat regulation.

Key words

Calorimetry Circadian temperature rhythm Exercise Heat regulation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aschoff J, Heise H (1972) Thermal conductance in man: its dependence on time of day and on ambient temperature. In: Itoh S, Ogata K, Yoshimura H (eds) Advances in climatic physiology. Igako Shoin, Tokyo, pp 334–348Google Scholar
  2. Draper N, Smith H (1981) Applied regression analysis, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Lind AR (1963) A physiological criterion for setting thermal environmental limits for everyday work. J Appl Physiol 18:51–56PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Nielsen B (1966) Regulation of body temperature and heat dissipation at different levels of energy — and heat production in man. Acta Physiol Scand 68:215–227Google Scholar
  5. Nielsen M (1938) Die Regulation der Körpertemperatur bei Muskelarbeit. Scand Arch Physiol 79:193–230Google Scholar
  6. Webb P (1979) Continuous thermal comfort in a suit calorimeter. In: Durand J, Raynaud J (eds) Thermal comfort: physiological and psychological bases. INSERM, Paris, pp 177–185Google Scholar
  7. Webb P (1986) 24-hour energy expenditure and the menstrual cycle. Am J Clin Nutr 44:614–619PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Webb P, Troutman SJ, Annis JF (1970) Automatic cooling in water cooled space suits. Aerosp Med 41:269–277PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Webb P, Annis JF, Troutman SJ (1972) Human calorimetry with a water-cooled suit. J Appl Physiol 32:412–418PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Webb P, Saris WHM, Schoffelen PFM, Hoor F ten (1988) The work of walking: a calorimetric study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 20:331–337PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Webb P, Nagle FJ, Wanta DM (1991) Heat regulation during exercise with controlled cooling. Eur J Appl Physiol 62:193–197Google Scholar
  12. Wyndham CH, Bouwer WvD, Devine MG, Paterson HE (1952) Physiological responses of African laborers at various saturated air temperatures, wind velocities and rates of energy expenditure. J Appl Physiol 5:290–298PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Webb
    • 1
  1. 1.Yellow SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations