Environmental Physiology. Your Body In The World

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Today is the start of Environmental Physiology. Your Body In The World, a free online course offered by Professor Anne Friedlander of Stanford University.

Professor Friedlander explains, “Want to climb mountains and fly fighter planes? Want to skydive? Want to travel around the country to meet science experts that generate the knowledge we learn? Want to learn practical physiology about how the body adapts to cold, heat, altitude, stress, age and variable pressure? If so, you have come to the right place.

The course includes six physiology topics organized into six sections. Each section will include a story video, video lectures, expert interviews, and additional materials. The material was designed to be experienced in the order below, and takes approximately three to five hours per section to complete. However, feel free to experience the material in whatever order, and depth, that you like. Many of our students just watch the story videos, and many complete the whole course
.”

The Physiology of Cold started today. The six sections of the curriculum are as follows:

Week 1: Introduction and Physiology of Cold (start date: April 21st)
Week 2: Physiology of Heat (start: April 27th)
Week 3: Physiology of Aging (start: May 4th)
Week 4: Physiology of Stress (start: May 11th)
Week 5: Physiology of Altitude (start: May 18th)
Week 6: Physiology of Variable Pressure and Farewell (start: May 25th)

The course is a great way to learn various aspects of human physiology through videos and story-telling and interaction with the professors and online classmates. Open water swimmers who have experienced hypothermia will greatly appreciate and thoroughly understand the Physiology of Cold. The online course shows how a human body adapts to cold air and cold water and the rewarming process. One particular well-known scene was when a hypothermic individual tries to tie his shoelaces.

Also, interesting to open water swimmers with a historical interest in the wool swimming suit of previous generations, will learn why wool is an effective insulator, especially when wet.

Professor Friedlander also explains various concepts from piloerection and after drop to non-shivering thermogenesis. All thoroughly educational and interesting to every open water swimmer.

The Physiology of Cold section also includes an interesting interview and discussion with Dr. Thomas Nuckton, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine with Sutter Health and the University of California San Francisco Medical School who is also a member of the Dolphin Club who designed a study of Alcatraz swimmers.

To learn more, visit here.

An esteemed Scientific Advisory Committee has guided the course content and reviewed course videos in their area of expertise. The members include Herbert Benson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard University and Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D., Director of MIT AgeLab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Firdaus Dhabhar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Charles Fulco, Ph.D., Research Physiologist, Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Robert W. Kenefick, Ph.D., Research Physiologist, Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Robert Lee, MBA, J.D., Diving Instructor and Safety Diver with Performance Freediving, Certified SCUBA Diver, Steve Muza, Ph.D., Acting Chief and Research Physiologist, Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Thomas Nuckton, M.D., Critical Care Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association