Interaction of chemical defense clothing and high terrestrial altitudes on lift/carry and marksmanship performance

Stephen R. Muza, Ronald Jackson, Paul Rock, James Roach, Timothy Lyons, Allen Cymerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The increased metabolic energy requirement imposed by a chemical defense uniform (CDU) and the lower maximal aerobic capacity associated with increased altitude should produce greater demands on the cardiopulmonary system during the performance of a given work task at increasing altitudes. We hypothesized that: a) relative to sea level, the decrements in physical work performance caused by ascending to high terrestrial altitudes would be greater in a CDU compared with a standard fatigue uniform (U.S. Army, BDU); b) the aversive subjective reactions to the CDU would be accentuated with increasing altitude; and c) that staging at moderate altitude, to induce acclimatization, would restore work performance at higher altitudes to sea level norms. Methods: The physiological and subjective responses of 8 male soldiers to work (10-min lift-and-carry task and rifle marksmanship) were measured. Subjects wore the BDU and a CDU ensemble (U.S. Army, BDU) at sea level, intermediate (2743 m) and high (4300 m) altitudes following rapid and staged (3 d at 1830 m) ascents to the higher altitudes. Results: Lift/carry task performance tended to be lower (p = 0.076) in the CDU vs. the BDU at altitude. The cardiopulmonary responses to the lift/carry task increased at altitude and were greater in the CDU. The subjects' perception of their ability to perform the lift/carry task at altitude was adversely impacted more in the CDU than the BDU. Rapid ascent to intermediate altitude degraded marksmanship in both uniforms. Following staged ascent, lift/carry task and marksmanship performance was restored to sea level norms. Conclusions: Personnel wearing CDU or equivalent protective clothing at intermediate to high terrestrial elevations should anticipate proportionally larger CDU-induced decrements of work performance and lower tolerance to working in a CDU than experienced near sea level. Staging at moderate altitude is an effective strategy for restoring work performance to sea level norms at higher altitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-677
Number of pages10
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume71
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2000

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Clothing
Oceans and Seas
Task Performance and Analysis
Protective Clothing
Aptitude
Acclimatization
Military Personnel
Firearms
Fatigue

Keywords

  • Altitude
  • Altitude acclimatization
  • Exercise
  • Marksmanship
  • Protective clothing
  • Pulmonary function
  • Respiratory protective device
  • Staged ascent

Cite this

Muza, Stephen R. ; Jackson, Ronald ; Rock, Paul ; Roach, James ; Lyons, Timothy ; Cymerman, Allen. / Interaction of chemical defense clothing and high terrestrial altitudes on lift/carry and marksmanship performance. In: Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine. 2000 ; Vol. 71, No. 7. pp. 668-677.
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abstract = "Background: The increased metabolic energy requirement imposed by a chemical defense uniform (CDU) and the lower maximal aerobic capacity associated with increased altitude should produce greater demands on the cardiopulmonary system during the performance of a given work task at increasing altitudes. We hypothesized that: a) relative to sea level, the decrements in physical work performance caused by ascending to high terrestrial altitudes would be greater in a CDU compared with a standard fatigue uniform (U.S. Army, BDU); b) the aversive subjective reactions to the CDU would be accentuated with increasing altitude; and c) that staging at moderate altitude, to induce acclimatization, would restore work performance at higher altitudes to sea level norms. Methods: The physiological and subjective responses of 8 male soldiers to work (10-min lift-and-carry task and rifle marksmanship) were measured. Subjects wore the BDU and a CDU ensemble (U.S. Army, BDU) at sea level, intermediate (2743 m) and high (4300 m) altitudes following rapid and staged (3 d at 1830 m) ascents to the higher altitudes. Results: Lift/carry task performance tended to be lower (p = 0.076) in the CDU vs. the BDU at altitude. The cardiopulmonary responses to the lift/carry task increased at altitude and were greater in the CDU. The subjects' perception of their ability to perform the lift/carry task at altitude was adversely impacted more in the CDU than the BDU. Rapid ascent to intermediate altitude degraded marksmanship in both uniforms. Following staged ascent, lift/carry task and marksmanship performance was restored to sea level norms. Conclusions: Personnel wearing CDU or equivalent protective clothing at intermediate to high terrestrial elevations should anticipate proportionally larger CDU-induced decrements of work performance and lower tolerance to working in a CDU than experienced near sea level. Staging at moderate altitude is an effective strategy for restoring work performance to sea level norms at higher altitudes.",
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Interaction of chemical defense clothing and high terrestrial altitudes on lift/carry and marksmanship performance. / Muza, Stephen R.; Jackson, Ronald; Rock, Paul; Roach, James; Lyons, Timothy; Cymerman, Allen.

In: Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 71, No. 7, 01.07.2000, p. 668-677.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Muza, Stephen R.

AU - Jackson, Ronald

AU - Rock, Paul

AU - Roach, James

AU - Lyons, Timothy

AU - Cymerman, Allen

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N2 - Background: The increased metabolic energy requirement imposed by a chemical defense uniform (CDU) and the lower maximal aerobic capacity associated with increased altitude should produce greater demands on the cardiopulmonary system during the performance of a given work task at increasing altitudes. We hypothesized that: a) relative to sea level, the decrements in physical work performance caused by ascending to high terrestrial altitudes would be greater in a CDU compared with a standard fatigue uniform (U.S. Army, BDU); b) the aversive subjective reactions to the CDU would be accentuated with increasing altitude; and c) that staging at moderate altitude, to induce acclimatization, would restore work performance at higher altitudes to sea level norms. Methods: The physiological and subjective responses of 8 male soldiers to work (10-min lift-and-carry task and rifle marksmanship) were measured. Subjects wore the BDU and a CDU ensemble (U.S. Army, BDU) at sea level, intermediate (2743 m) and high (4300 m) altitudes following rapid and staged (3 d at 1830 m) ascents to the higher altitudes. Results: Lift/carry task performance tended to be lower (p = 0.076) in the CDU vs. the BDU at altitude. The cardiopulmonary responses to the lift/carry task increased at altitude and were greater in the CDU. The subjects' perception of their ability to perform the lift/carry task at altitude was adversely impacted more in the CDU than the BDU. Rapid ascent to intermediate altitude degraded marksmanship in both uniforms. Following staged ascent, lift/carry task and marksmanship performance was restored to sea level norms. Conclusions: Personnel wearing CDU or equivalent protective clothing at intermediate to high terrestrial elevations should anticipate proportionally larger CDU-induced decrements of work performance and lower tolerance to working in a CDU than experienced near sea level. Staging at moderate altitude is an effective strategy for restoring work performance to sea level norms at higher altitudes.

AB - Background: The increased metabolic energy requirement imposed by a chemical defense uniform (CDU) and the lower maximal aerobic capacity associated with increased altitude should produce greater demands on the cardiopulmonary system during the performance of a given work task at increasing altitudes. We hypothesized that: a) relative to sea level, the decrements in physical work performance caused by ascending to high terrestrial altitudes would be greater in a CDU compared with a standard fatigue uniform (U.S. Army, BDU); b) the aversive subjective reactions to the CDU would be accentuated with increasing altitude; and c) that staging at moderate altitude, to induce acclimatization, would restore work performance at higher altitudes to sea level norms. Methods: The physiological and subjective responses of 8 male soldiers to work (10-min lift-and-carry task and rifle marksmanship) were measured. Subjects wore the BDU and a CDU ensemble (U.S. Army, BDU) at sea level, intermediate (2743 m) and high (4300 m) altitudes following rapid and staged (3 d at 1830 m) ascents to the higher altitudes. Results: Lift/carry task performance tended to be lower (p = 0.076) in the CDU vs. the BDU at altitude. The cardiopulmonary responses to the lift/carry task increased at altitude and were greater in the CDU. The subjects' perception of their ability to perform the lift/carry task at altitude was adversely impacted more in the CDU than the BDU. Rapid ascent to intermediate altitude degraded marksmanship in both uniforms. Following staged ascent, lift/carry task and marksmanship performance was restored to sea level norms. Conclusions: Personnel wearing CDU or equivalent protective clothing at intermediate to high terrestrial elevations should anticipate proportionally larger CDU-induced decrements of work performance and lower tolerance to working in a CDU than experienced near sea level. Staging at moderate altitude is an effective strategy for restoring work performance to sea level norms at higher altitudes.

KW - Altitude

KW - Altitude acclimatization

KW - Exercise

KW - Marksmanship

KW - Protective clothing

KW - Pulmonary function

KW - Respiratory protective device

KW - Staged ascent

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