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Does living and working in a hot environment induce clinically relevant changes in immune function and voluntary force production capacity?

Knez, W., Girard, O., Racinais, S., Walsh, A., Gaoua, N. and Grantham, J. (2014) Does living and working in a hot environment induce clinically relevant changes in immune function and voluntary force production capacity? Industrial Health, 52 (3). pp. 235-239.

Free to read: https://doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.2012-0032
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Abstract

This study investigated the effect of living (summer vs. winter) and working (morning vs. afternoon) in a hot environment on markers of immune function and forearm strength. Thirty-one healthy male gas field employees were screened before (between 05:30 and 07:00) and after their working day (between 15:30 and 17:00) during both seasons. Body core temperature and physical activity were recorded throughout the working days. The hot condition (i.e. summer) led a higher (p≤0.05) average body core temperature (~37.2 vs. ~37.4 °C) but reduced physical activity (−14.8%) during the work-shift. Our data showed an increase (p≤0.05) in lymphocyte and monocyte counts in the summer. Additionally, work-shift resulted in significant (p≤0.001) changes in leukocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes independently of the environment. Handgrip (p=0.069) and pinch (p=0.077) forces tended to be reduced from pre-to post-work, while only force produced during handgrip manoeuvres was significantly reduced (p≤0.05) during the hot compared to the temperate season. No interactions were observed between the environment and work-shift for any marker of immune function or forearm strength. In summary, working and living in hot conditions impact on markers of immune function and work capacity; however by self-regulating energy expenditure, immune markers remained in a healthy reference range.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/45846
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