The effects of compression garments on performance of prolonged manual-labour exercise and recovery.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Feb ;41(2):125-32. Epub 2016 Jan 16. PMID: 26778138
This study investigated the effects of wearing compression garments during and 24 h following a 4-h exercise protocol simulating manual-labour tasks. Ten physically trained male participants, familiar with labouring activities, undertook 4 h of work tasks characteristic of industrial workplaces. Participants completed 2 testing sessions, separated by at least 1 week. In the experimental condition, participants wore a full-length compression top and compression shorts during the exercise protocol and overnight recovery, with normal work clothes worn in the control condition. Testing for serum creatine kinase and C-reactive protein, handgrip strength, knee flexion and extension torque, muscle stiffness, perceived muscle soreness and fatigue as well as heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) responses to 4-min cycling were performed before, following, and 24 h after exercise. Creatine kinase, muscle soreness, and rating of perceived fatigue increased following the exercise protocol (p<0.05) as did RPE to a standardised cycling warm-up bout. Conversely, no postexercise changes were observed in C-reactive protein, handgrip strength, peak knee flexion torque, or stiffness measures (p>0.05). Knee extension torque was significantly higher in the control condition at 24 h postexercise (3.1%± 5.4% change; compression: 2.2% ± 11.1% change), although no other variables were different between conditions at any time. However, compression demonstrated a moderate-large effect (d>0.60) to reduce perceived muscle soreness, fatigue, and RPE from standardised warm-up at 24 h postexercise. The current findings suggest that compression may assist in perceptual recovery from manual-labour exercise with implications for the ability to perform subsequent work bouts.