Physiological and perceptual effects of a cooling garment during simulated industrial work in the heat


Objective Evaluate physiological and perceptual responses using a phase change cooling (PCC) garment during simulated work in the heat. Methods Twenty males wearing compression undergarments, coverall suit, gloves, and hard-hat, completed two randomly assigned trials (with PCC inserts or control, CON) of simulated industrial tasks in the heat (34.2 ± 0.05 °C, 54.7 ± 0.3%RH). Trials consisted of two 20 min work bouts, a maximum performance bout, and 10 min of recovery. Results Physiological strain index (PSI) was lower during PCC after the second work bout and during recovery (all P < 0.05). PCC reduced heat storage (27.0 ± 7.6 W m−2) compared to CON (42.7 ± 9.9 W m−2, P < 0.001). Perceptual strain index (PeSI) was reduced with PCC compared to CON (P < 0.001), however performance outcomes were not different between trials (P = 0.10). Conclusions PCC during work in the heat attenuated thermal, physiological, and perceptual strain. This PCC garment could increase safety and reduce occupational heat illness risk.

Document Type





Exertional hyperthermia, Heat illness prevention, Phase change clothing

Publication Date


Journal Title

Applied Ergonomics