The investigation of individual whole-body protective clothing effects on thermal and subjective well-being of physically working medical staff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The aim was to investigate thermal and ergonomic effects of individual whole-body medical protective clothing
while performing physically demanding tasks.
Materials and Methods
Thermography of the body surface was performed for 9 healthy physically trained persons (mean age 30±3
years) before and after 17-minutes long trials with walking on treadmill at stable pace and gradually increasing
inclination by 2% every 3 minutes till 13%. The first trial was done in common sportswear simulating work
of physiotherapist. The second trial was conducted in whole-body protective clothing recommended and generally available for work with COVID-19 patients. Sufficient rest was provided for participants between trials.
Thermograms were taken by high resolution medical digital infrared camera ICI ETI 7320 Pro in standing position in underwear. The anterior surface of the right thigh was set as the region of interest, where skin surface
mean temperature was measured. Trials were conducted under controlled ambient conditions with mean air
temperature being 22.86±0.28ºC and air relative humidity – 46.78±5.12%. The survey of participants was added
to get information about subjective comfort.
Skin surface mean temperature decreased in trials done in sportswear (23.86±1.26ºC before vs. 23.30±1.37ºC after trial, p<0.01) as it has good air-permeability and allows evaporation. Extensive sweating was observed during trials in protective clothing, but skin surface temperature after trials was significantly higher (24.04±1.34ºC,
p<0.05). Survey results showed that most of participants experienced discomfort while performing task in protective clothing (excessive friction and sweating around neck, in lower back, inguinal, axillar region, and lower
part of calf ). All participants would like to improve air-permeability and elasticity of material.
In context of COVID-19 pandemic, continuous wearing of whole-body individual protective clothing by medical
staff while preforming physically demanding tasks can put them at high risk of overheating and dehydration.
The protective clothing made from air-permeable and elastic materials should be recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021 - Online, Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 22 Mar 202128 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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