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Using environmental ergonomics and physiology to improve sports clothing design
Using environmental ergonomics and physiology to improve sports clothing design
Using environmental ergonomics and physiology to improve sports clothing design

Improving athlete performance through sports clothing

  • Using environmental ergonomics and physiology to improve sports clothing design
Sir Chris Hoy Sir Chris Hoy

Innovative research from the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre, at Loughborough Design School, has helped improve athlete performance through design adaptations to sports clothing.

A research programme carried out by the Centre, in partnership with a number of sports equipment manufacturers, looked into the area of body mapping to better understanding the issue of heat transfer from different body regions to the environment.

Outcomes of the research have helped these companies, by providing design guidelines to assist with the heating up and cooling down of those wearing their sports clothing. The research also helped to form the basis of an exciting project with adidas involving Team GB cyclists.

Research into muscle cooling post warm-up concluded that there was substantial cooling of muscles between the period of warm-up and actual racing for competitors. The outcome was to work with adidas to create a set of heated trousers to help athletes maintain muscle temperature during inactive periods.

These have been scientifically proven to improve peak power during a sprint and widely considered to have contributed to the British success at the 2012 Olympic Games, including the gold medal wins for Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton CBE.

Impact

  • Improved performance 

    Improved athlete performance

  • Olympic success 

    Contributed to Team GB success at the London 2012 Olympics

  • Bodymapping 

    Improved clothing design based on body mapping of sweating and skin sensitivity

  • USP 

    Providing Unique Selling Points for the sponsoring company.