The effects of hydration on cognitive performance during a simulated wildfire suppression shift in temperate and hot conditions

Article


Cvirn, Michael, Dorrian, Jillian, Smith, Bradley, Vincent, Grace, Jay, Sarah, Roach, Greg, Sargent, Charli, Larsen, Brianna, Aisbett, Brad and Ferguson, Sally. 2019. "The effects of hydration on cognitive performance during a simulated wildfire suppression shift in temperate and hot conditions." Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society. 77, pp. 9-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.12.018
Article Title

The effects of hydration on cognitive performance during a simulated wildfire suppression shift in temperate and hot conditions

ERA Journal ID13416
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCvirn, Michael (Author), Dorrian, Jillian (Author), Smith, Bradley (Author), Vincent, Grace (Author), Jay, Sarah (Author), Roach, Greg (Author), Sargent, Charli (Author), Larsen, Brianna (Author), Aisbett, Brad (Author) and Ferguson, Sally (Author)
Journal TitleApplied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society
Journal Citation77, pp. 9-15
Number of Pages7
Year2019
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0003-6870
1872-9126
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.12.018
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687018307658
Abstract

The effects on dehydration and cognitive performance from heat and/or physical activity are well established in
the laboratory, although have not yet been studied for personnel working in occupations such as wildland
firefighting regularly exposed to these types of conditions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of temperature and dehydration on seventy-three volunteer firefighters (35.7 ± 13.7 years, mean ± standard deviation) during a simulation of wildfire suppression under either control or hot (18–20; or 33–35 °C) temperature conditions. Results showed cognitive performance on the psychomotor vigilance task declined when participants were dehydrated in the heat and Stroop task performance was impaired when dehydrated late in the afternoon. Firefighters may be at risk of deteriorations in simple cognitive functions in the heat whilst dehydrated, although may also experience impairments in complex cognitive functions if dehydrated late in the day, irrespective of the environmental temperature.

KeywordsHydration; Heat; Firefighter; Cognitive performance; Temperature; Physical activity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420702. Exercise physiology
420799. Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsCentral Queensland University
University of South Australia
Deakin University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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