The University is appealing to healthy volunteers aged 65 and over to volunteer for exercise testing designed to help older people cope better in the heat.
Kirsty Waldock, PhD student and lead investigator at the university’s School of Sport and Service Management, warned that climate change is likely to increase the number of heat-related illnesses.
She said: “Heat waves in recent years have resulted in increases in visits to hospital emergency departments for the treatment of heatstroke. The earth’s climate is warming and as the mean global temperature rises so does the frequency, severity and duration of heat waves, presenting a significant health risk to the population, with the over 65s being the most vulnerable.
“If effective action to adapt to climate change is not implemented then experts predict a five-fold increase in the number of heat-related deaths in the UK by 2050. Public Health England has provided heat wave guidelines but more specifics are needed.”
Miss Waldock and colleagues, based at the university’s Eastbourne campus, are conducting exercise trials in a specially-designed heat controlled room. Volunteers will receive information regarding their resting blood pressure and heart rate, body composition and individualised exercise responses.