The responses to heat stress: from Olympic athletes to healthcare workers

Friday 21 April 2023, 10:30 am
J.Q. de Korte
prof. dr. M.T.E. Hopman
dr. T.M.F. Eijsvogels, dr. C.C.W.G. Bongers

Heat stress can be very challenging. This dissertation demonstrates that the performance of Olympic athletes significantly decreases in high temperatures and humidity, with large variation among athletes. However, challenges with heat stress are not limited to sports. Working in protective clothing that does not or hardly ventilate can also result in high heat stress, as is the case with COVID-19 healthcare workers. Due to the insulating properties of the clothing, the ambient temperature under the clothing rises, resulting in thermal discomfort for healthcare workers. Fortunately, this dissertation also shows that cooling strategies can be effective in reducing the negative consequences of heat stress. Cooling strategies can improve athletic performance in athletes and reduce thermal discomfort in workers. The large variations in response to heat stress among individuals highlight the importance of assessing individual needs.

Yannick de Korte (1992) obtained his Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in 2015 after which he worked as a physiotherapist. In 2018 he obtained his Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Radboud University and started his PhD at the Department of Physiology at Radboudumc. Currently, Yannick works at Knowledge Center Sport & Exercise.