Influence of wet suit wear on anxiety responses to underwater exercise

Undersea Hyperb Med. 1997;24(1):23-8.


The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of wearing a wet suit on selected psychological and physiologic variables. Certified divers (n = 13) finned underwater at 0.52 m/s for 20 min with and without a wet suit. Order was randomly assigned and performed on separate days. Heart rate, respiration rate, use of compressed air, ratings of perceived exertion, and breathing ratings increased significantly (P < 0.05) for both conditions, and increases in heart rate, use of compressed air, and breathing ratings were significantly greater for the wet-suit condition. Rectal temperature increased significantly (P < 0.001) for the wet-suit but not the bathing-suit condition. State anxiety and body awareness increased (P < 0.001) following the wet-suit condition. Furthermore, state anxiety decreased significantly (P < 0.001) by 15 min after exercise in the bathing-suit condition. It is concluded that wet suit wear can result in elevated anxiety when performed at a water temperature and exercise intensity sufficient to produce increased core temperature.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Diving / physiology*
  • Diving / psychology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Respiration / physiology