Discerning the Interaction Between Ambient Temperature, Hypoxia, & Load Carriage on Respiratory Muscle Fatigue

Research Paper Title

Interaction Between Ambient Temperature, Hypoxia, and Load Carriage on Respiratory Muscle Fatigue.

Background

While respiratory muscle fatigue is present following load carriage activity at sea level, the effect of environmental conditions on respiratory strength while undertaking load carriage is unknown.

Methods

The effect of thoracic load carriage during walks (5.5 km) in four environments [(thermo-neutral sea level (SL), -10°C (C), 4300 m (H) and 4300 m at -10°C (HC)] was evaluated on respiratory muscle fatigue.

Ten subjects completed eight self-paced randomised treadmill walks comprising a variety of gradients, unloaded and loaded (18.2 kg), across the four environments.

Respiratory muscle strength was measured via maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax) and expiratory pressure (PEmax) assessments.

Results

Submaximal walking in HC elicited respiratory muscle fatigue when compared to SL. Inspiratory muscle fatigue was independent of load.

The relative change in PImax from baseline was significantly greater in HC compared to SL (9.6% vs. 1.3%). PEmax showed a significant reduction during HC (-22.3 cmH₂O, -14.4%) when compared to the other three environments.

Conclusions

These results highlight the need to focus on respiratory muscle strength in preparation for exercise in cold hypoxic conditions

Reference

Hinde, K., Low, C., Lloyd, R. & Cooke, C. (2018) Interaction Between Ambient Temperature, Hypoxia, and Load Carriage on Respiratory Muscle Fatigue. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 89(11), pp.952-960. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.5108.2018.

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