Effects of hypoxia pre-conditioning on physiological responses during mountain sport activities

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  • Project duration: October 2020 - December 2022
  • Project status: ongoing
  • Funding:
    Provincial P.-L.P. 14. Research projects (Province BZ funding /Project)
  • Total project budget: €266,493.46

Mountain sport activities as for example hiking or skiing may involve the risk of adverse health events especially in older people not accustomed to the specific mountain sport at altitude or people with pre-existing health issues. Preventive measures include regular physical activity (i.e. training) and adequate medical treatment. Hypoxia pre-conditioning, which was shown to lead to some favorable sympathetic nervous system, ventilatory and metabolic adaptations and additionally exerts anti-inflammatory action, could be hypothesized of being a further preventive measure. However, to the best of our knowledge this was not investigated yet. The aim of this research project is to investigate whether intermittent hypoxia pre-conditioning and sleep at altitude is able to reduce the physiological responses (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure) during passive hypoxia exposure and during simulated hiking and skiing in controlled altitude conditions (terraXcube). The present project will provide information whether or not hypoxia pre-conditioning may be recommended as a strategy to lower physiological responses during alpine sport activities performed acutely at altitude and will provide a first step for establishing evidence-based preventive measures.

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