FIFA World Cup Use Wet Bulb Globe Temperature To Monitor Heat Stress
At Richard Paul Russell Ltd we have been watching with interest the football world cup and the measurement of WBGT to bring in extra water breaks. It’s good to see sporting bodies start to take the issue of heat stress seriously and also use WBGT as the parameter to determine safe practices.
Heat illness occurs when your body produces more heat than it loses. Muscle work when playing football produces heat. The risk of heat illness does not only depend on the temperature, but also on the humidity of the air. With higher humidity, the cooling effect of sweating is reduced. Further, wind and sun radiation influence the effect of high temperatures on your body.
FIFA have set optional additional cooling breaks at above 32⁰C WBGT with the following advice:
To protect yourself when playing in hot and humid climates:
1. Drink plenty of fluids: Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. As a rule of thumb, drink at least two litres per day. This volume needs to be increased with playing time and high temperatures.You might need to drink up to six litres and more per day.
2. Drink water or isotonic sport drinks.
3. Stay out of the sun and in the shade as often and as long as possible.
4. Wear light-coloured, loose fitting clothes made of either natural fibres or composite fabrics with high absorption.
5. Use sun blockers on all exposed body parts.
6. Sleep and rest increase your temperature tolerance.
7. Do not lay down during breaks or after the match as this may provoke a collapse.
8. To cool down, spatter yourself with water before the match and during breaks.
9. Risk is increased if you suffer from asthma. Please inform your team doctor accordingly.
10. Immediately seek medical help with shivering, muscle cramps, headache, fatigue or collapse.
The Kestrel 4400 and Kestrel 4600 will measure WBGT automatically in your hand making professional WBGT readings available to all sports coaches and institutions at a low cost. The compact portable nature of the Kestrel allows readings to be taken at the exact activity location and enables real-time ongoing measurements during the period of the activity.
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