3 years ago

Does water temperature influence the performance of key survival skills?

Christophe Schnitzler, Ludovic Seifert, James L. Croft, Chris Button, Geoffrey Armbrust
Purpose Aquatic survival skills may be compromised in cold water thereby increasing the likelihood of drowning. This study compared physiological, psychological, and behavioural responses of humans treading water and swimming in cold and temperate water. Methods Thirty-eight participants were classified as inexperienced (n=9), recreational (n=15), or skilled (n=10) swimmers. They performed three tasks: treading water (120 s), swim at “comfortable” pace, and swim at “fast” pace in two water conditions (28 °C vs 10 °C). Heart rate, oxygen uptake, psychometric variables, spatio-temporal (swim speed, stroke rate, stroke length), and coordination type were examined as a function of expertise. Results Tasks performed in cold water generated higher cardio-respiratory responses (HR = 145±16 vs 127±21 bpm) and were perceived about two points more strenuous on the Borg scale on average (RPE= 14.9±2.8 vs 13.0±2.0). The voluntary durations of both treading water (60±32 vs 91±33s) and swimming at a comfortable pace (66±22 vs 103±34s) were significantly reduced in cold water. However, no systematic changes in movement pattern type could be determined in either the treading water task or the swimming tasks. Conclusion Water temperature influences the physical demands of these aquatic skills but not necessarily the behaviour. Training treading water and swimming skills in temperate water seems to transfer to cold water, but we recommend training these skills in a range of water conditions to help adapt to the initial ‘cold-shock’ response. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/sms.12997

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.