The purpose of this study was to determine whether a player's physical impairment or activity profile was related to the amount of thermal strain experienced during wheelchair rugby match play. 17 elite wheelchair rugby players played a competitive match, whilst activity profiles, measures of core and skin temperature, heart rate and perceptual responses were taken. Players were divided into 2 groups depending on their physical impairment: players with a cervical spinal cord injury, (n=10) or non-spinal related physical impairment (n=7). Total distance was lower (4 842±324 vs. 5 541±316 m, p<0.01, ES=2.2) and mean speed slower (1.13±0.11 vs. 1.27±0.11 m∙s-1, p<0.03, ES=1.3) in players with a spinal cord injury. Yet, the change in core temperature (1.6±0.4 vs. 0.7±0.3°C, p<0.01, ES=2.5) was significantly greater in players with a spinal cord injury. In conclusion, players with a spinal cord injury were under greater thermal strain during wheelchair rugby match play, as a result of their reduced heat loss capacity, due to their physical impairment and not because of their activity profile.
Griggs, K. E., Havenith, G., Price, M., Mason, B. S., & Goosey-Tolfrey, V. L. (2017). Thermoregulatory Reponses during Competitive Wheelchair Rugby Match Play. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(3), 177-183. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0042-121263