Habituation to cold water immersion and its effect on manual dexterity and cognition in sailing

Seaborne, Chloe (2016) Habituation to cold water immersion and its effect on manual dexterity and cognition in sailing. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Objectives: This study comprised of two main objectives: The first was to examine the effects of cold water immersion physiologically and further on manual dexterity and cognition on dinghy sailors; and secondly to examine an individual’s ability to habituate to cold water immersion and its effect on both manual dexterity and cognition.
Method: Participants (n=13), completed a series of cold water immersions. Six males (group H) immersed in cold water repeatedly over seven days, with a further seven males (group C) immersing on two days, five days apart. Test immersions on days one and seven, participants completed both manual dexterity and cognitive tests, pre and post a 20 minute cold water immersion (14.11 ± 0.43 °C). Group H completed a further 5 immersions (12.8 ± 1.1 °C), lasting 5 minutes each. Participants’ core (Tre), head (Th), foot (Tf) and finger (Tfi) temperatures; as well as heart rate (HR) and thermal comfort (TC) were recorded throughout immersion and the ‘afterdrop’ response.
Results: Two way anovas revealed minimal significant changes in manual dexterity and cognition through cold water immersion or repeated immersions. Further to these results participants showed a decrease across all measures due to cold water immersions (5 & 20 minute) and a further decrease in Tre due to ‘afterdrop’. However no significant changes in Tre, Th, Tf, or thermal comfort were reported due to seven repeated immersions. Both Tfi and heart rate showed a significant difference between test day regardless of group, reporting a change of (P=0.045) for Tfi and (P=0.028) for heart rate.
Conclusion: Contradictory to the majority of prior research, no significant changes in manual dexterity, cognition or the majority of physiological responses were reported through cold water habituation of this specification. Dinghy sailors should however experience no significant depletion in manual or cognitive performance in water temperature of 14.11 ± 1.1 °C for up to 20 minutes.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Adventure Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cold water immersion, habituation, manual dexterity, cognition, afterdrop, dinghy sailing
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Departments > Adventure Education
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2017 11:34
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2017 11:34
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/2276

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