Volume 28 (2009) Issue 6 Pages 275-281
For evaluating the effect of body physique, somatotype, and physical constitution on individual variability in the core interthreshold zone (CIZ), data from 22 healthy young Japanese male subjects were examined. The experiment was carried out in a climatic chamber in which air temperature was maintained at 20–24°C. The subjects' body physique and the maximum work load were measured. Somatotype was predicted from the Heath-Carter Somatotype method. In addition, factors reflecting physical constitution, for example, susceptibility to heat and cold, and quality of sleep were obtained by questionnaire. The subjects wore a water-perfused suit which was perfused with water at a temperature of 25°C and at a rate of 600 cc/min, and exercised on an ergometer at 50% of their maximum work rate for 10–15 min until their sweating rate increased. They then remained continuously seated without exercise until shivering increased. Rectal temperature (Tre) and skin temperatures at four sites were monitored by thermistors, and sweating rate was measured at the forehead with a sweat rate monitor. Oxygen uptake was monitored with a gas analyzer. The results showed individual variability in the CIZ. According to the reciprocal cross-inhibition (RCI) theory, thermoafferent information from peripheral and core sensors is activated by Tre, mean skin temperature (T̅sk), and their changes. Since T̅sk was relatively unchanged, the data were selected to eliminate the influence of the core cooling rate on the sensor-to-effector pathway before RCI, and the relationship between the CIZ and the various factors was then analyzed. The results revealed that susceptibility to heat showed a good correlation with the CIZ, indicating that individual awareness of heat may change the CIZ due to thermoregulatory behavior.