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The heat is on: keeping the vulnerable safe during heatwaves

News Item

posted by Research Admin 1 on 13 February 2019



News release: Sydney University, 12 February, 2019

World-first heatwave study calling for participants


Associate Professor Ollie Jay and an international team are recruiting people over 60 to take part in a study which will measure human physiological responses to over 1900 simulated heatwave exposures.

As Australia sweltered through its warmest month on record in January, scientists at the University of Sydney were working behind the scenes to find the best ways to keep the most vulnerable in our community safe during heatwaves.

Associate Professor Ollie Jay is leading a National Health and Medical Research Council funded study which will develop the world’s first evidence-based guidance for sustainable cooling strategies for vulnerable people during extreme heat events.

“Heatwaves aren’t an anomaly anymore and these records are just going to continue to be broken,” said Associate Professor Jay, Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Sydney.

“Older people and people with cardiovascular disease are at an increased risk during extreme heat due to their reduced ability to sweat, which is the key way our bodies cool down.

“With 25 percent of Australians not having air-conditioning and many more not having the financial means to run it, it is essential that we have the scientific evidence to back effective and affordable at-home strategies to help these people stay safe during heatwaves.”

To find out more about the study, go to: