Why is it important to discuss overheating?

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Why is it important to discuss overheating?

Overheating is commonly experienced by those with sweating dysfunction, such as Spinal Cord Injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, and other neurological conditions or as a result of certain medicines.

Why is overheating an important topic for wheelchair users, healthcare professionals and carers?

Throughout the day, the body uses four mechanisms of heat exchange to maintain normal body temperature: conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation. A sweating dysfunction, however, means no evaporation heat loss. Evaporative heat loss is the most effective form of heat loss, so the inability to sweat puts individuals at risk of overheating. 
The symptoms of overheating can be described as muscle spasms, heat fatigue, or heatstroke. Other symptoms include heat-induced seizures and nausea.

Once the overheating process has started, it will take much longer to cool back down. 
WheelAir was designed to accelerate the remaining heat exchange mechanisms to help compensate and give individuals more control over body temperature regulation. For Daniel, this means being able to enjoy time outside with his family: “After getting my WheelAir, I can do so much more. After the ridiculously hot summer we’ve just had, I can honestly say I would have been completely lost without my WheelAir. I was even camping!” 


How can individuals exercise without overheating?

Exercise can provoke overheating. Lots of academic research has focused on pre-cooling and the effect on performance during exercise activity for those with a Spinal Cord Injury. Pre-cooling means starting the exercise with a lower-body temperature to slow down the process of reaching a critical limiting core temperature, which contributes to fatigue. Studies show that pre-cooling of athletes with SCI effectively reduces the effect of an increase in core body temperature during exercise. 

Even after completing exercise, body temperature can continue to rise. In post-exercise WheelAir tests, turning the WheelAir on after 30 minutes of exercise cooled the body down  3.16% in 3 minutes. Comparatively, when using WheelAir before exercise to pre-cool, body temperature decreases 7.14% after exercise.
This reiterates the push for using the WheelAir from the start of a planned activity, increasing and decreasing the fan speed when necessary to avoid heat and moisture build-up.

How to get WheelAir

Speak to your clinician, use our Knowledge page to fully understand the health implications of overheating, over-sweating and the influence of microclimate on skin integrity, look at our Case Studiesand understand your clinical need to help aid the wheelchair service decision.

WheelAir can also be bought directly on our website or through our partners

If you are a healthcare professional and looking for more information, please visit our knowledge page or drop the team a message at

That’s all for now, stay cool (and dry) out there! ☀️

Team WheelAir

For media enquiries, send us an email at
Griggs, K., Price, M. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (2014). Cooling Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury. Sports Medicine, 45(1), pp.9-21.
Read the WheelAir clinical indictions here.
Read user case studies here.