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Journal Article


Ray M, King M, Carnahan H. Safety Sci. 2019; 115: 1-11.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Cold exposure causes impairments in manual performance and therefore has implications for the safety and performance of individuals who perform occupational and survival skills in cold environments. The existing body of literature on the effects of cold exposure on manual performance has provided a foundation of knowledge regarding how cold exposure impacts safety and performance. The purpose of this review is to provide an updated summary of the literature, identify gaps in the literature based on task classifications, and to discuss how optimizing training might be a meaningful way of enhancing the safety and performance of cold environment workers. Our review found that there is a limited amount of research on how to optimize training for cold environments. Our review also found that the current body of research is primarily based on findings from tasks that are biased towards motor or cognitive demands, but not both, and that most tasks studied are low in complexity. Based on these identified gaps in the literature, we discuss how concepts from the motor learning literature can inform future research to help determine the best methods for training in the cold. We also discuss how a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of cold exposure on manual performance could be developed by performing research that uses a broader range of tasks that vary based on both task complexity and the cognitive and motor demands. Research that addresses these issues could help to enhance the safety and performance of those who work in cold environments.

Language: en


Cold environment; Cold exposure; Manual performance; Motor learning; Task classifications; Training


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