Textile and Apparel Science

Analysis of Physiological Effects of Compression Gear on American College and Pro-Level Football Athletes

Authors
  • Reannan Riedy (Florida State University)
  • Isabel Maya (Florida State University)
  • Meredith McQuerry (Florida State University)

Abstract

There is widespread commercial acceptance of compression garments as tools for reducing injury, promoting recovery, and improving performance in athletic activity. While studies have been conducted to assess the physiological benefits of compression garments, there remains a large gap in the scientific literature regarding the physiological effects of compression girdles for performance athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to determine the hypothalamus temperature (THY), skin blood flow (SBF), skin temperature (TSK), sweat rate (SWA), temperature sensation, and comfort perceptions of the male human body when wearing a compression girdle. Three base layer configurations were analyzed, consisting of a compression tank, socks, cleats, and either boxer briefs, a girdle, or a girdle in conjunction with compression tights. The researchers also evaluated each base layer configuration in both practice and play settings. Using an ANDI sweating thermal manikin in an environmental chamber, physiological measurements were collected under constant ambient conditions (32˚C, 65% relative humidity, and 0.4 m/s windspeed) to replicate gameplay. A ManikinPC2 human thermal model plugin was utilized within the ThermDAC software to replicate real-time physiological and thermoregulatory responses to the activity. Findings demonstrated an improvement in SBF when wearing the compression girdle either alone or with tights in both the practice and play ensembles. Results also indicated that compared to boxer briefs, wearing a compression girdle in combination with multiple layers significantly increases THY and TSK, leading to quicker onset of fatigue and heat related illness. Overall, an additional or thicker base layer such as a padded compression girdle, comes at the cost of decreased physiological comfort.

Keywords: Football, compression, skin blood flow, thermal comfort, manikin

How to Cite:

Riedy, R., Maya, I. & McQuerry, M., (2024) “Analysis of Physiological Effects of Compression Gear on American College and Pro-Level Football Athletes”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.17743

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Published on
13 Feb 2024
Peer Reviewed