Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Michael Whitt

Abstract

Exposure to high heat and humidity can lead to serious health risks, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) and heat index have historically been used to predict heat stress events, but individualized factors are not included in the measurement. It has been shown that there is a relationship between cardiovascular measurements and heat stress, which could be used to measure heat stress risk on an individual level. Research has been done to find relationships between cardiovascular metrics in a workplace environment, however the study did not include the use of a controlled environment as a baseline. This study provides measurements of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), heart rate, body core temperature, and blood pressure in a controlled environment when human subjects are exposed to high heat and humidity. Thirty subjects (n=17 females, 13 males) were asked to self-express their activity level (active vs. sedentary), gender, and age. The subjects performed a 30-minute moderate exercise routine on a stationary stepper machine in a heated environmental chamber (average WBGT of 26ºC). TEWL, heart rate, tympanic temperature, and blood pressure were recorded at every 10-minute increment of the exercise protocol per subject. The data was analyzed using JMP® software to find significant (P

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