Reliability and validity of skin temperature measurement by telemetry thermistors and a thermal camera during exercise in the heat

Carl James, Alan Richardson, Peter Watt, Neil Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New technologies afford convenient modalities for skin temperature (TSKIN) measurement, notably involving wireless telemetry and non-contact infrared thermometry. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of skin temperature measurements using a telemetry thermistor system (TT) and thermal camera (TC) during exercise in a hot environment. Each system was compared against a certified thermocouple, measuring the surface temperature of a metal block in a thermostatically controlled waterbath. Fourteen recreational athletes completed two incremental running tests, separated by one week. Skin temperatures were measured simultaneously with TT and TC compared against a hard-wired thermistor system (HW) throughout rest and exercise. Post hoc calibration based on waterbath results displayed good validity for TT (mean bias [MB]=−0.18°C, typical error [TE]=0.18°C) and reliability (MB=−0.05°C, TE=0.31°C) throughout rest and exercise. Poor validity (MB=−1.4°C, TE=0.35°C) and reliability (MB=−0.65°C, TE=0.52°C) was observed for TC, suggesting it may be best suited to controlled, static situations. These findings indicate TT systems provide a convenient, valid and reliable alternative to HW, useful for measurements in the field where traditional methods may be impractical.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Thermal Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Thermal Biology, 45, October 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.08.010


  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • skin temperature
  • thermal camera
  • heat stress
  • exercise


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