Thermal imaging of exercise-associated skin temperature changes in trained and untrained female subjects

Damiano Formenti, Nicola Ludwig, Marco Gargano, Marco Gondola, Nicoletta Dellerma, Andrea Caumo, Giampietro Alberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heat dissipation during sport exercise is an important physiological mechanism that may influence athletic performance. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that differences exist in the dynamics of exercise-associated skin temperature changes between trained and untrained subjects. We investigated thermoregulation of a local muscle area (muscle-tendon unit) involved in a localized steady-load exercise (standing heels raise) using infrared thermography. Seven trained female subjects and seven untrained female controls were studied. Each subject performed standing heels raise exercise for 2 min. Thermal images were recorded prior to exercise (1 min), during exercise (2 min), and after exercise (7 min). The analysis of thermal images provided the skin temperature time course, which was characterized by a set of descriptive parameters. Two-way ANOVA for repeated measures detected a significant interaction (p = 0.03) between group and time, thus indicating that athletic subjects increased their skin temperature differently with respect to untrained subjects. This was confirmed by comparing the parameters describing the speed of rise of skin temperature. It was found that trained subjects responded to exercise more quickly than untrained controls (p <0.05). In conclusion, physical training improves the ability to rapidly elevate skin temperature in response to a localized exercise in female subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Blood flow
  • Heels raise
  • Infrared thermography
  • Sedentaries-athletes
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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