Heat Stress and Tennis


 – Written by Julien D. Périard, Qatar

Extremely hot conditions took over Rod Laver Arena and the rest of the tennis grounds in Melbourne Park during the 2014 Australian Open.  After days of sweltering hot weather and temperatures reaching 43ºC, play was suspended for several hours when organisers invoked the Extreme Heat Policy.

The stoppage in play, however, occurred only after a plastic bottle had reportedly started melting on court, a ball boy and a male player fainted, a female player experienced cramping and vomiting, and several notable players expressed their concerns regarding the safety of continuing to compete in such conditions.

Unfortunately, the sequence of events that played out on the international stage in Australia is mirrored worldwide each year in numerous lower-profile events, highlighting the challenges and consequences of competing under severe heat stress. In effect, the development of hyperthermia during exercise in the heat has been shown to impair endurance1 and intermittent exercise performance (e.g. soccer)2,3. These performance impairments occur in conjunction with elevations in physiological and perceptual strain, relative to when exercise is performed in cooler conditions. During the development of hyperthermia, progressive dehydration can also occur if fluids are not sufficiently consumed, which can in turn exacerbate the rise in thermal strain.


The rise in body core temperature during exercise is mediated by relative intensity/workload and the prevailing environmental conditions. In conditions within the prescriptive zone – ambient temperatures in which deep body core temperature remains stable during exercise7 – core temperature increases safely up to 38.3°C during match-play tennis8-10. This suggests that in temperate environments, both autonomic (e.g. sweating) and behavioural (e.g. adjustments in play and recovery) thermoregulation successfully regulate core temperature. However, in hot ambient conditions core temperatures above 39.5ºC have been reported during play8,11-13. The development of this thermal strain, along with the concomitant increase in physiological and perceptual strain (Figures 1 and 2), is characterised by a reduction in effective playing time10,13, which is the percentage of total match time spent with the ball in play. This reduction stems from both a decrease in point duration10 and/or an increase in time between points (e.g. Table 1)13. Accordingly, these adjustments in match-play characteristics in hot ambient conditions have been suggested to represent behavioural strategies adopted to minimise or offset the sensation of environmental conditions being rated as difficult. In essence, these adjustments allow players a certain measure of self-regulation with regard to the rate of heat production in environmental conditions that contribute to increased core temperature during exercise.

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Multiple Sclerosis Patient Needed Cooling Vest

I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and need to keep my core cool to reduce MS attacks and severity. I live in Southern California where it gets really hot and summer temps can be brutal. I also live on a ranch and the animals must be taken care of regardless of how hot it is. I looked at cheaper vests but all they were was material soaked in water and put on for an evaporative effect. Not any better than taking off my t shirt and getting it wet on the wash rack at the barn and putting it on. I found this and decided to try it since it had actual frozen material held close to the body. We have had 90+ degree temps the last two days with 35-60 % humidity so a pretty good test environment. I had frozen the gel packs and inserted into the vest and put on with my t shirt underneath to go out and feed and water the animals. I did stay much cooler than without the vest and wasn’t sweating up a storm or getting dizzy in the heat. But after 1 hour the gel packs were thawing out about half way, but still keeping me cool. When I returned to the house I just stuck the whole vest in the chest freezer so I can easily grab it before going out knowing it will be good to go. If you need cooling power for more than a couple of hours you will need additional gel packs to swap out. This will work for MS patients for 2 hrs or less. If you want to do outside activities for longer you need cooling gel inserts front and back. So for riding and driving the mules and donkeys I bought a Glacier Tech vest that holds frozen cooling gel packets both front and back and will last up to 4 hrs no problem. It is also heavier and bulkier and of course costs more. MS patient’s internal thermometer is broken and we are always hot and overheat easily. So we must have a way to keep cool outside or we can’t go outside. This vest would be great for gardening, walks, short errand runs etc for MS patients as well as normal people looking for some heat relief. If you need to use it on the job outside buy several gel cooling packs to swap out throughout the day. I found the gel packs expand much more easily in warm water in the sink, submerged under a dinner plate for a couple hours. All expanded no problem.


The photos are misleading. Once the ice packs are added this is very bulky and looks like a life vest especially if you have breasts. I bought this for equestrian sports. You could only use after you have taken care of your horse. Once you can put it on, it works fantastic. But I went off the thin photo and was disappointed not being able to wear . The ice packs are bumpy so if you fall wearing this, it will hurt.

Nice cooling vest

I ordered this on advice from others with MS to see if it would help with my heat intolerance. It helped greatly. I used it for mowing our lawn on an upper 80's day.
I mowed for about an hour and the cooling packs were still more than 1/2 frozen and I was still comfortable. It wore nicely and was not restrictive at all.
Definitely would recommend this.

CoolSport Vestino
Yuri Artibise
Helped During the Heat Dome

I have MS and heat exacerbates my symptoms. While I initially purchased this vest to help keep cool while exercising outside during the summer, it proved invaluable to helping keep cool during the 'heat dome' event that his the west coast during the end of June, both when I was inside or outside!

Its minimal size and shape allows you to move freely when wearing it (even when wearing a back- or water-pack over top), but the full back ice pack still keeps you cool.

I highly recommend it for those looking for a lightweight and unobstructive way to keep cool in the heat.

Comfort found in a vest!

my experience has been great. From the first call to ask questions about the product. Order fulfilled in no time at all. wearing the vest has been wonderful, helping to keep my core temperature in control so I can be active outdoors for much longer. The zipper is easy for me to use too. This summer is going to be great!