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

Cvirn, Michael and Dorrian, Jillian and Smith, Bradley and Vincent, Grace and Jay, Sarah and Roach, Greg and Sargent, Charli and Larsen, Brianna and 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, 77. pp. 9-15. ISSN 0003-6870


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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 03:08
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2020 05:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hydration; Heat; Firefighter; Cognitive performance; Temperature; Physical activity
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.12.018
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39571

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