Publications by authors named "Zoe Panagiotaki"

2 Publications

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Effects of Weather Parameters on Endurance Running Performance: Discipline-specific Analysis of 1258 Races.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2022 Jan;54(1):153-161

FAME Laboratory, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, GREECE.

Introduction: This study evaluated how single or combinations of weather parameters (temperature, humidity, wind speed, and solar load) affect peak performance during endurance running events and identified which events are most vulnerable to varying weather conditions.

Methods: Results for the marathon, 50-km racewalking, 20-km racewalking, and 10,000-, 5000-, and 3000-m steeplechase were obtained from the official Web sites of large competitions. We identified meteorological data from nearby (8.9 ± 9.3 km) weather stations for 1258 races held between 1936 and 2019 across 42 countries, enabling analysis of 7867 athletes.

Results: The wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) across races ranged from -7°C to 33°C, with 27% of races taking place in cold/cool, 47% in neutral, 18% in moderate heat, 7% in high heat, and 1% in extreme heat conditions, according to the World Athletics classification. Machine learning decision trees (R2 = 0.21-0.58) showed that air temperature (importance score = 40%) was the most important weather parameter. However, when used alone, air temperature had lower predictive power (R2 = 0.04-0.34) than WBGT (R2 = 0.11-0.47). Conditions of 7.5°C-15°C WBGT (or 10°C-17.5°C air temperature) increased the likelihood for peak performance. For every degree WBGT outside these optimum conditions, performance declined by 0.3%-0.4%.

Conclusion: More than one-quarter of endurance running events were held in moderate, high, or extreme heat, and this number reached one-half when marathons were excluded. All four weather parameters should be evaluated when aiming to mitigate the health and performance implications of exercising at high intensities in a hot environment with athletes adopting heat mitigation strategies when possible.
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January 2022

Effect of a Simulated Heat Wave on Physiological Strain and Labour Productivity.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 15;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Automation, Biocybernetics and Robotics, Jozef Stefan Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of a simulated heat-wave on the labour productivity and physiological strain experienced by workers.

Methods: Seven males were confined for ten days in controlled ambient conditions. A familiarisation day was followed by three (pre, during, and post-heat-wave) 3-day periods. During each day volunteers participated in a simulated work-shift incorporating two physical activity sessions each followed by a session of assembly line task. Conditions were hot (work: 35.4 °C; rest: 26.3 °C) during, and temperate (work: 25.4 °C; rest: 22.3 °C) pre and post the simulated heat-wave. Physiological, biological, behavioural, and subjective data were collected throughout the study.

Results: The simulated heat-wave undermined human capacity for work by increasing the number of mistakes committed, time spent on unplanned breaks, and the physiological strain experienced by the participants. Early adaptations were able to mitigate the observed implications on the second and third days of the heat-wave, as well as impacting positively on the post-heat-wave period.

Conclusions: Here, we show for first time that a controlled simulated heat-wave increases workers' physiological strain and reduces labour productivity on the first day, but it promotes adaptations mitigating the observed implications during the subsequent days.
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March 2021