Playing in intense heat can wreak havoc on an athlete’s body. This fact was mentioned again and again during this year’s Australian Open tennis tournament. With temperatures soaring between 97- and 104-degrees Fahrenheit in Melbourne during play, every player was at risk of suffering a variety of heat-related conditions, up to and including possible death.

Up to 50 Degrees Hotter on the Court

As bad as the spectators in the stands have it in such extreme temperatures, the athletes on the court have it much worse. For starters, the spectators have the benefit of water misters blowing on them to help keep them cool. Then there’s the fact that the temperature on the court can be as high as 50 degrees hotter than they are in the stands. This is due to heat being radiated on to the court level from the stands. And, with the athletes already generating a lot of internal heat during competition, the environmental heat can pose a serious risk.

Dr. Liz Hanna of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University and the Climate and Health Alliance told news.com.au, ”Someone could die if players pushed their bodies too far in extreme conditions. They’re at very high risk of overheating and that is potentially lethal. The worst-case scenario is that somebody would succumb to severe injury.”

She then went on to urge the tournament’s organizers to take the precautions necessary to ensure player safety is paramount when the mercury rises. She advised them to extend rest times between games and sets to allow players’ bodies to recover.

Dr. Kathryn Bowen, a senior research fellow at ANU, echoed Dr. Hanna’s statements saying, “Anyone — if they push their bodies too far in those extreme conditions — can absolutely die.”

The Australian Open is No Stranger to Heat-Related Problems

While this January’s Australian Open recorded extremely high temperatures, it is by no stretch an abnormality. Melbourne regularly experiences high temperatures in January and problems with the heat almost always come into play when the tournament is held. For example, in 2014 Canadian tennis star Frank Dancevic was one of the most vocal and he complained of competing in “inhumane conditions.” Two years later, several players were taken off the courts during the opening round of qualifiers because of the intense heat.

Polar Seats Can Even the Playing Field When Heat is an Issue

The Australian Open is the type of event that Polar Seats were made for. Polar Seats are air-conditioned benches that blast cooled air over a player’s body when they take a break from action. The air is cooled to 50-degrees Fahrenheit, which as the air flows over the body can significantly reduce its overall core temperature back to safe levels. Polar Seats were clinically proven in a study conducted by Duke University Sports Medicine to significantly reduce core body temperature, making them an essential piece of equipment anywhere extreme temperatures can impact gameplay and the safety of the athletes.

Learn More About Polar Seats Cooling Benches Today

Playing in extreme heat and humidity can be taxing on a player’s body and place them at much higher risk of suffering an injury or worse. For athletes that play in these types of temperatures, Polar Seats cooling benches can help lower these risks by keeping the athlete’s core temperature under control. Dragon Seats is the only manufacturer of Polar Seats cooling benches. To learn more about Dragon Seats’ cooling benches, check out our dedicated page, email us, or call us today at 216-287-5042.