Upper limb cooling: the effects of gender and 5 day cold acclimation on strength manual performance and perception

Powell, Michael Edward Scott (2004) Upper limb cooling: the effects of gender and 5 day cold acclimation on strength manual performance and perception. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Substantial decrements in upper limb manual performance are evident following cooling of the upper limb in humans. In this thesis 2 studies were conducted to observe if gender (Study 1) or 5 days acclimation (Study 2) affected upper limb manual performance, strength and perceived pain and comfort both during and following whole arm immersion in 8°C water. Performance and strength tests plus pain and comfort ratings of 6 males and 6 females were compared in Study 1 and six males in Study 2 were compared for the same tests and ratings on Day 1 and Day 5 of repeated whole arm 8°C immersions. Study 1 showed no significant difference in muscle (T mus) or skin temperature (Tsk) across gender. Relative to males, the females had significantly faster finger flexion and extension times (p=0.03), better peg and ring test performance during rewarming (p<0.05) and significantly lower maze tracking error rates (O.OOS < p < 0.02). Comfort and pain ratings across gender were affected to a similar extent by cold immersion. In Study 2 during the 5-day acclimation, Tmus followed the same profile on days 1 and 5 of immersion. A significant Day by Time interaction (p=0.04) was evident for Tsk and the interaction was explained by significantly higher Tsk on Day 5 versus Day I prior to (p=0.002) and following immersion (0.01 < p < 0.02). The 5-day acclimation gave a trend for (p = 0.07) faster finger extension and flexion times. Grip strength adjusted to preimmersion values was significantly improved (p =0.006) by acclimation. As well perceived pain was significantly lower (p < 0.05) and comfort was significantly higher (p < 0.05) during initial 20 min of limb immersion after 5 days of cold limb acclimation. In conclusion, with upper limb cooling females showed limited evidence of better manual performance relative to males for some fine and gross motor tasks. Five days of acclimation gave significant improvements in skin perfusion, as indexed by skin temperature, grip strength and cold perception during the initial immersion. Acclimation gave only trends for better performance on fine and gross motor tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12295
Item ID: 12295
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: July 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Body temperature--Measurement; Cold adaptation

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