Term of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health and Kinesiology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Bryan L. Riemann

Committee Member 1

Kent Guion

Committee Member 2

Jim McMillan


The purpose of the investigation was to determine the effect of a football helmet and a football helmet/skull cap combination increases core body temperature in an exercising athlete. Secondary investigative questions considered the effect of football helmet and football helmet/skull cap combination on interior football helmet temperature and distance ran.

Sixteen healthy college-age (age=22.3 + 1.79 yrs., mass = 78.5kg + 6.9kg) physically active males participated in the three testing sessions 72 hours apart. At each of the testing sessions, participants completed an exercise bout under one of three conditions, football helmet, football helmet/skull cap combination, and control (no helmet) in a counterbalanced order while wearing football pants, shoulder pads and jersey. Following a five minute aerobic warm-up, the exercise bout consisted of six intervals, five minutes in duration while maintaining a heart rate equal to 70% maximal heart rate reserve based on the Karvonen method. After each interval, participants had a two minute, standing rest period. Core temperature was measured using an ingestible sensor with the Cor Temp 2000 data recorder (HQI Technologies). Temperature probes, (Physiotemp. Model BAT-12), were placed in the anterior and posterior crown of the football helmet to measure helmet temperature. A telemetric chest-fitted heart rate monitor (Polar Vantage XL) was used to monitor heart rate.

Separate two-way repeated measures analyses of variance (condition by time) were used to analyze the dependent variables of core temperature, football helmet temperature, and distance.

A significant (p< .05) increase in core temperature occurred across all exercise bouts but was not different between the football helmet, football helmet/skull cap combination and control sessions. Additionally, football helmet temperature was not significantly different between football helmet and football helmet/skull cap combination conditions. Distance ran was not significant between the conditions.

Neither core temperature nor football helmet temperature appear to be influenced by either a football helmet or by wearing a skull cap underneath a football helmet during thirty minutes of interval treadmill jogging at a moderate heart rate intensity. Future research is recommended to consider the effects of football helmet and football helmet/skull cap combination in higher temperature and humidity environments using football athletes in an environment more similar to outdoor, summer conditions using a higher intensity, short duration exercise bout.

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