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The use of impedance plethysmography to evaluate the impact of increasing physical activity on blood flow in the lower extremities involving footwear comfort – a preliminary report

Emilia Irzmańska, Magdalena Charłusz, Robert Irzmański

Med Sci Tech 2011; 52(1-2): RA45-51

ID: 882075

Background:    This paper presents preliminary results of studies using impedance plethysmography to evaluate the effect of increasing physical activity on blood flow in the lower extremities in simulated conditions of use of protective footwear on the treadmill. The aim of this study was to develop a study model of the footwear protective microclimate in the system and to investigate the dynamic relationships between parameters of blood flow in the lower extremities and selected parameters of microclimate in the course of the growing burden of effort. The authors developed a model of plethysmographic perfusion evaluation in the lower extremities while increasing the load during the controlled exercise.
    Material/Methods:    The study was carried out in a group of firemen (10 subjects) employed in emergency and firefighting units. The test stand for investigation of protective footwear microclimate parameters consisted of an ergometric treadmill with regulated speed and slope of the stepping surface, and a humidity and temperature sensor used for continuous measurements of humidity and temperature of the air inside the footwear. The test stand for impedance plethysmography studies was a RheoScreen® Compact device.
    Results:    Based on the results observed, statistically significant changes were found in the plethysmographic parameters and temperature-humidity. We determined a correlation between the level of humidity and temperature and blood flow parameters in the legs (IR CT) during exercise.
    Conclusions:    Investigations of peripheral circulation in the lower extremities utilizing impedance plethysmography are applicable in healthy subjects under graded workload conditions because they yield results in the form of objective parameters modified in time by ongoing workload, which is associated with prognoses of precise determination in further studies of the effect of external factors (temperature and humidity) on the comfort of use of protective footwear.

Keywords: Plethysmography, Microclimate, protective footwear

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