Title

A first look into the influence of triathlon wetsuit on resting blood pressure and heart rate variability

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wearing a wetsuit on resting cardiovascular measures (blood pressure (BP), heart rate variability (HRV)). The influence of position (upright, prone) and wetsuit size were also explored. Participants (n=12 males, 33.3±12.1 years) had BP and HRV measured during six resting conditions: standing or prone while not wearing a wetsuit (NWS), wearing the smallest (SWS), or largest (LWS) wetsuit (based upon manufacturer guidelines). Heart rate was recorded continuously over 5-mins; BP was measured three times per condition. HRV was represented by the ratio of low (LF) and high (HF) frequency (LF/HF ratio); mean arterial pressure (MAP) was calculated. Each dependent variable was analyzed using a 2 (position) x 3 (wetsuit) repeated measures ANOVA (α=0.05). Neither HRV parameter was influenced by position x wetsuit condition interaction (p>0.05) and MAP was not influenced by position (p=0.717). MAP and LF/HF ratio were both influenced by wetsuit condition (p<0.05) with higher during SWS than NWS (p=0.026) while LF/HF ratio was lower during SWS compared to NWS (p=0.032). LF/HF ratio was influenced by position being greater during standing vs. prone (p=0.001). It was concluded that during resting while on land (i.e., not submerged in water), wearing a small, tight-fitting wetsuit subtlety altered cardiovascular parameters for healthy, normotensive subjects

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