Our hands – a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments – enable us to grasp and feel objects. In the course of our lives every one of us will bend and stretch our hands approx. 25 million times. During the winter in particular we need to use gloves to protect our hands so that their functioning is not impaired or, worst case, they are damaged.
When ambient temperatures are low, our hands and feet are the first to get cold. This is due to the way in which blood circulates around our bodies. When blood vessels are subjected to cold, they contract to minimize heat loss. Since our internal organs need a constant flow of blood, the first blood vessels to contract are the ones at the extremities of our bodies, such as hands and feet. High quality gloves protect us from the cold and keep our hands at a body temperature of 25°C to 35°C. Our bodies are able to maintain their full sporting performance at this comfort range.
Our bodies lose their thermal balance as soon as they start to sweat or feel cold. They cool us down by sweating to protect us from overheating. Just 5ml of hand sweat is enough to cool the hand by about 3 degrees Celsius. On average, sportspeople doing winter sports produce about 10ml sweat during one hour’s skiing with the result that moisture also comes from inside clothing. If this sweat remains under the ski glove’s insulating layer, then the hand quickly becomes cold because of the increased heat conduction.