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Performance of Compression Garments for Cyclists

Venkatraman, PD and Tyler, D and Fergusson-Lee, L and Bourke, A (2013) Performance of Compression Garments for Cyclists. In: The Textile Institute’s International Conference on Advances in Functional Textiles.

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Abstract

Base layer compression garments had been used by professional cyclists to enhance their performance. To date there is significant body of evidence relating to compression modalities in treating patients suffering from leg ulcers. However, research relating to sportswear compression garment is varied and inconclusive, a few research suggested benefit to athletes or aid recovery from exercise. This depends on a number of factors such as material (fabric/garment design, interaction), athlete (body shape, intensity of use, fitness, and perception) and type of sport or use (intensive or casual). The current research intends to establish a knowledge base by exploring the performance of garments using a combination of laboratory investigations and wearer perceptions. Four commercially available compression garments were evaluated for its performance. These include two professional brands (SKINS, RAPHA) and retail brands (Sub-dual and Sports Direct Muddyfox). The pressure profile of these garments was investigated on participants using Tekscan pressure sensors on various points (lower limb). Wearer trial investigated their perceptions for its fit, comfort, ease of wear, tactile sensation, and overall satisfaction. Various textile parameters evaluating garment durability, comfort, colourfastness and stability facilitated in determining its efficacy. In addition, wearer trials were conducted to measure physiological measurements. Overall, professional compression garments performed better compared to standard products. Suitable inferences drawn from these preliminary findings enabled to ascertain the performance of compression garments and aid in further development.

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