Human thermoregulatory behavior during rest and exercise - a prospective review

Physiol Behav. 2010 Mar 3;99(3):269-75. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.12.003. Epub 2009 Dec 18.


Despite the important role of temperature regulation in human behavior, it is frequently overlooked as a thermoregulatory response during both rest and exercise. During rest, the initiation of thermoregulatory behavior is preceded by changes in thermal comfort/sensation, with the temperature of the skin playing a vital signaling role. This behavior maintains heat balance and prevents the activation of autonomic thermoregulatory responses. Recently, self-paced exercise in the heat has been used as a thermo-behavioral model and accordingly, reductions in exercise work-rate in the heat appear sufficient to maintain regulation. Similar to rest, this behavior is mediated by elevations in skin temperature, however the perception of effort appears to be the perceptual trigger.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Thermosensing