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Accurate body temperature measurement is essential for monitoring and managing safety during outdoor activities. Physical activities are an essential consideration for public health, with sports taking up an important proportion of these. Athletes’ performances can be directly affected by body temperature fluctuations, with overheating or hypothermia posing serious health risks. Monitoring these temperatures allows coaches and medical staff to make decisions that enhance performance and safety. Traditional methods, like oral, axillary, and tympanic readings, are widely used, but face challenges during intense physical activities in real-world environments. This study evaluated the agreement, correlation, and interchangeability of oral, axillary, and tympanic temperature measurements in outdoor exercise conditions. Systems developed for specific placements might generate different sensor readouts. Conducted as an observational field study, it involved 21 adult participants (11 males and 10 females, average age 25.14 ± 5.80 years) that underwent the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test protocol on an outdoor court. The main outcomes measured were the agreement and correlation between temperature readings from the three methods, both before and after exercise. The results indicate poor agreement between the measurement sites, with significant deviations observed post-exercise. Although the Spearman correlation coefficients showed consistent temperature changes post-exercise across all methods, the standard deviations in the pairwise comparisons exceeded 0.67 °C. This study concluded that widely used temperature measurement methods are challenging to use during outdoor exercises and should not be considered interchangeable. This variability, especially after exercise, underscores the need for further research using gold standard temperature measurement methods to determine the most suitable site for accurate readings. Care should thus be taken when temperature screening is done at scale using traditional methods, as each measurement site should be considered within its own right.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health



Publication Date





595 - 595