Physiological Response to Heat Stress

  • Luke N. BelvalEmail author
  • Margaret C. Morrissey


The human body is equipped with physiological systems that aid in heat dissipation during heat stress. These systems work to limit heat storage during heat stress to maintain a relatively constant internal body temperature. Thermal stress such as passive heat stress, exercise, or exercise in the heat exacerbates thermal strain and must be managed through various thermoeffector responses. This chapter provides a fundamental understanding of the body’s physiological responses to heat stress and biophysical factors that promote or interfere with heat loss. Our aim is to first examine environmental and exercise conditions that optimize heat loss and address biophysical determinants that result in metabolic heat production and heat dissipation. We also present neurological control of heat stress and ways in which neural control of physiological systems enhance heat loss. Finally, we address heat acclimatization and behavioral thermoregulation as methods to further enhance heat loss during heat stress.


Heat Thermoregulation Temperature Physiology Homeothermy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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