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XP-Antarctik Expedition: The Effect of a Month-Long Expedition in Antarctica on Physiological Performance

Parent, A-A; Martin, D; Morales, S; Boucher, J; Comtois, A-S; (2018) XP-Antarctik Expedition: The Effect of a Month-Long Expedition in Antarctica on Physiological Performance. Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments , 14 (1) , Article 10. 10.7771/2327-2937.1093. Green open access

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Abstract

Antarctica is a challenging habitat for humans. A group of 6 explorers (3 women and 3 men) participated in an expedition in Antarctica. The objective was to observe the physiological acclimatization of the explorers using the following strategies: physical preparation, highcaloric nutritional intake, and the latest physiological monitoring and outdoor equipment. Anthropometric measures (dual x-ray absorptiometry), specific maximal aerobic test, maximal aerobic running speed test, submaximal aerobic cold testing, strength tests (grip strength, leg press and chin up), and endurance tests (bar suspension and chair position) were conducted pre- and post-expedition. Due to the sample size, a paired t-test was used for normally distributed data and non-parametric (Wilcoxon) to compare values pre- and post-expedition. Effect sizes are presented as Cohen’s d. The lean mass for the women was significantly higher after the expedition (45.4 ± 4.4 vs. 47.1 ± 4.1 kg; p = 0.040, d = 1.86); however, no significant difference was observed for the men (66.7 ± 7.3 vs. 66.0 ± 5.7 kg; p = 0.581, d = 0.11). Pre- and post-expedition values were significantly different for the specific maximal aerobic test, where the VO_{2}peak was 40.8 ± 4.2 vs. 46.9 ± 7.4 ml/kg/min, respectively (p = 0.027, d = 1.01), but no significant difference was observed for the other aerobic tests. The muscular testing did not change significantly, except for the left leg one maximal repetition (295 ± 110 vs. 364 ± 135 lb, pre- and post-expedition respectively, p = 0.031, d = -0.56). The overall preparation for the expedition appears to be a key aspect in order to countermeasure the physical ability decay during an Antarctica expedition. However, further studies will need to be developed to discern the importance of the preparation components.

Type: Article
Title: XP-Antarctik Expedition: The Effect of a Month-Long Expedition in Antarctica on Physiological Performance
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7771/2327-2937.1093
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7771/2327-2937.1093
Language: English
Additional information: © This is an Open Access journal. This means that it uses a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. Readers may freely read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles. This journal is covered under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Antarctica expedition, fitness, physiological acclimatization
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Surgical Biotechnology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085775
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