Performance optimisation through the use of compression garments and biosensors

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It is well known that exercise-induced muscle damage and the disruption of metabolic processes occur in individuals who are not accustomed to intensive physical activity. Disruption in the muscles’ contractile elements and metabolic processes results in a reduction in sports performance and muscle power output alike. There were three main aims of the current study, and the first aim was to determine whether compression garments (CGs) affected cardiovascular function during exercise of running trainers. The second aim was to establish whether electrocardiogram (ECG) signals are affected by wearing CGs on the recovery phase. The last purpose was to investigate the relationship between brain activity and the application of CGs. Subjects randomly performed the experiments in different garments including compression garments and non-compression garments. ECG and EEG sensor collected the electrical signals based on the electrodes attached to the body. The sensors of ECG-Flex/Pro were used for the collection of cardiovascular signal through lead II position. Besides, the raw EEG signal were collected from the surface of head via O1 position using Flexcomp Infiniti Monitor. Parameters were compared based on paired t-tests. Statistical significance was reported when the p-value was lower than 0.05. As part of the study, participants completed the designed protocols for data collection. In Experiment 1, eight subjects (women, n=3; men, n=5; 25.1 ± 3.8 yrs; 61.4 ± 13.7 kg; 165.9 ± 8.3 cm; 19.6 ± 4.4 kg.m-2) completed a running protocol for ECG collection wearing non-compression garments (NCGs), under-size compression garments (UCGs) and correct-size compression garments (CCGs). Experiment 2 (n=14; 24.7±4.5 years, 166.0±7.6 cm; 60.9±12.0 kg) concentrated on the recovery phase. In Experiment 3, ten subjects (men, n=5; women, n=5; 24.1 ± 4.5 yrs; 58.7 ± 11.0 kg; 163.6 ± 7.7 cm; 21.77 ± 2.63 kg.m-2) completed the tests with electroencephalography (EEG) collection wearing no-compression garments (NCGs) and fitted compression garments (CCGs). Electrocardiogram (ECG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were collected using wearable bio-sensors. In Experiment 1, results obtained indicated significant alteration (p < 0.05) in heart rate between both correctly fitted compression garments (CCGs), undersize compression garments (UCGs), and non-compression garments (NCGs). QT intervals (QT), corrected of QT intervals (QTc) was demonstrated significant difference in UCGs compared with NCGs. The results of Experiment 2 indicated a significant difference between CGs and NCGs at the end of the running test and from 90 minutes onwards during the recovery phase (p < 0.05). ECG parameters showed some significant difference in heart rate (HR), ST interval and corrected QT (QTc) interval (p < 0.05). Moreover, there were significant differences in alpha, beta and theta power spectral density between CCGs and NCGs in Experiment 3 (p < 0.05). The findings of this research conclude that the utilization of CGs during exercise produces positive effects on cardiovascular function and brain activity.
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