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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

South Carolina: Athletic Training Researchers Investigate Heat-related Health Effects on University Marching Band Musicians

Researchers at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and the University of Kansas have completed the first phase of a study examining the health effects of practicing or performing in high environmental temperatures among university marching band musicians. This research (abstracts published in the Journal of Athletic Training) examined multiple aspects of heat-related illness, including hydration/fluid intake/thirst, gastrointestinal distress and core temperature.

“Marching band members practice at the same frequency and times of day as college student-athletes,” says Dr. Toni Torres-McGehee, associate professor of athletic training in the Arnold School’s Department of Exercise Science, who led the study along with athletic training associate professor Dr. Susan Yeargin and exercise science alumna and University of Kansas assistant professor Dr. Dawn Emerson. “Exertional heat illnesses, dehydration, and low energy availability are prevalent in the college student-athlete population due to the rigors of pre-season and hot conditions, yet these conditions have not been described in the marching band population.”

An understudied form of organized physical activity, performing arts (e.g., marching band, dance, circus arts) often involve the same conditions and physical requirements as traditional sports. Drs. Torres-McGehee, Yeargin and Emerson came up with the idea for this study because they all have first-hand experience with marching bands and the challenges involved in practicing and performing in high temperatures.

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