Heat Illness in Sport and Exercise

Heat Illness in Sport and Exercise       
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
Last updated  Last updated: 13 February 2017
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Physical Literacy and Sport
Australian Sports Commission


Outdoor sports may involve vigorous exercise under extreme environmental conditions (e.g. hot and/or humid), which can produce a health and safety risk to competitors. Increases in the net-heat gain of the body, through metabolic and environmental influences, may compromise health and impair endurance performance.

This portfolio provides information for all sport-sector members so that participation in sport and exercise in hot conditions can be done in a safe manner. This information is intended to increase awareness of the risk to health and performance, and guide practice so that heat-related illnesses can be avoided.

Key Messages 


Although the incidence of exertional heat stroke is rare, sporting bodies and event organisers are encouraged to understand the risk factors and have a clear policy regarding the risk of heat illness during competition and other sport participation.


Sporting organisations and event managers should have a suitable action plan to deal with incidences of heat related medical emergency.

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