Cold water immersion: kill or cure?

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Date & time

Friday 17 May 2019, 12.30pm


Mike Tipton MBE, Professor of Human & Applied Physiology, University of Portsmouth


We’re fortunate enough to have Professor Mike Tipton presenting May’s educational webinar. He’s interested in the physiological and pathological integrative response of humans to extreme environments, and has recently published a fascinating research paper on the effects of cold water immersion, which he’ll be talking about in this webinar.

We’ve known for centuries that immersion in cold water can quickly result in death by drowning, cardiac problems or hypothermia. We have also believed that taking to the sea has health benefits. Recently open cold water swimming has become increasingly popular, with claims for health benefits ranging from improved immunity to a treatment for depression. Which is right? What should you do if you want to swim safely this summer or survive a cold water immersion?

About the speaker

Mike Tipton MBE

Mike joined the University of Portsmouth in 1999. In addition to his university positions, he was based at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) from 1983 to 2004 and was Consultant Head of the Environmental Medicine Division from 1996. He has spent 30 years working in the areas of thermoregulation, environmental and occupational physiology. He and his colleagues in the Extreme Environments Laboratory examine the physiological and psychological responses to adverse environments and the selection, preparation and protection of those who enter such environments. Mike is also Director of Research for the Department of Sport & Exercise Science for which he provides advice to a range of universities, government departments, industries, medical, search and rescue and media organisations.