Dynamic Thermography: Analysis of Hand Temperature During Exercise

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Exercise has a noted effect on skin blood flow and temperature. We aimed to characterize the normal skin temperature response to exercise by thermographic imaging. A study was conducted on ten healthy and active subjects (age = 25.8 ± 0.7 years) who were exposed to graded exercise for determination of maximal oxygen consumption (JOURNAL/abioen/04.02/00000570-199826060-00008/OV0312/v/2017-10-18T105702Z/r/image-pngO2 max), and subsequently to constant loads corresponding to 50%, 70%, and 90% of JOURNAL/abioen/04.02/00000570-199826060-00008/OV0312/v/2017-10-18T105702Z/r/image-pngO2 max. The skin temperature response during 20 min of constant load exercise is characterized by an initial descending limb, an ascending limb and a quasi-steady-state period. For 50% JOURNAL/abioen/04.02/00000570-199826060-00008/OV0312/v/2017-10-18T105702Z/r/image-pngO2 max, the temperature decrease rate was −0.0075 ± 0.001 °C/s during a time interval of 390 ± 47 s and the temperature increase rate was 0.0055 ± 0.0031 °C/s during a time interval of 484 ± 99 s. The level of load did not influence the temperature decrease and increase rates. In contrast, during graded load exercise, a continuous temperature decrease of −0.0049 ± 0.0032 °C/s was observed throughout the test. In summary, the thermographic skin response to exercise is characterized by a specific pattern which reflects the dynamic balance between hemodynamic and thermoregulatory processes.

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