Effect of a lower-body compression garment on submaximal and maximal running performance in cold (10°C) and hot (32°C) environments

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (Sports Science)


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Paul Laursen

Second Advisor

Kazunori Nosaka


Lower body compression garments (LBCG) are commonly worn by athletes in an attempt to improve performance and enhance recovery. To date, research has shown equivocal findings on the effects of LBCG on endurance performance. Moreover, some athletes may use such garments in warmer climates, which could impair thermoregulation. As no previous study has investigated the effect of LBCG on endurance running in hot and cold ambient temperatures, the purpose of this study was to compare the wearing of conventional running shorts versus full- length LBCG, Skins™, on running performance and physiological responses, in both hot (32ºC) and cold (10ºC) conditions. It was hypothesised that the wearing of LBCG would improve running economy, and would increase skin and core temperature as well as time to exhaustion at 10 °C; time to exhaustion was hypothesized to be lower with LBCG at 32ºC. Ten male recreational runners (19 - 44 y, V ˙ O2max: 56 - 64 ml/kg/min) performed 4 running performance tests (20 min at first ventilatory threshold [VT1], followed immediately by a run to exhaustion at the minimal velocity which elicits V ˙ O2max [v.V O2max]) under 4 different conditions (10°C with LBCG, 10°C without LBCG, 32°C with LBCG, 32°C without LBCG) each separated by one week in a randomized order. Criterion measures consisted of time to exhaustion (TTE), rectal and skin temperature (Tre and Tskin), oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate (BLa) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). VO2, Tre and Tskin, HR, BLa and RPE were monitored intermittently during 10 min of rest, the VT1 run, the run to exhaustion at v.VO2max and during 10 min of seated recovery. These variables were compared with and without LBCG (Control) for each temperature separately using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA with a Tukey’s post-hoc test. Changes in these variables were also compared between temperatures independent of garment condition. TTE, pressure of garment and weight loss incurred from exercise were compared between conditions using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Significance was set at p

LCSH Subject Headings

Running -- Physiological aspects.

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