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A protocol was required that would enable measurement of the effects of new or modified nuclear biological chemical (NBC) protective clothing on physical performance, in controlled but realistic conditions. As such, an extended wear protocol was developed that incorporated 27 hours of continuous protective clothing wear and four separate physical testing sessions within the wear period. Heart rate responses to standardized activities and other physical performance measures were used rather than invasive temperature measurement. In order to assess the effectiveness of the protocol, it was implemented with 8 healthy male subjects using two different protective clothing conditions and one control clothing condition. The test results indicated that the protocol was successful in demonstrating differences between the protective clothing conditions, but that it was not successful in demonstrating progressive performance degradation over the wear period. Based on these results, it was recommended that the protocol be modified to incorporate a higher work to rest ratio and a shorter duration of extended clothing wear.
protective clothing, human physical performance degradation, extended wear, protocol development, nuclear biological chemical