Taller, leaner players like Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo could outpace shorter athletes like Lionel Messi in the future due to climate change.
Meanwhile, lean tennis players like Andy Murray may find they perform better in sports when temperatures are warmer.
And a new study looking at the performance of professional athletes has found that taller men run faster in warmer temperatures.
Short men did better when the weather was cooler.
A new study concludes that humans are somewhat similar to animals that tend to be stockier like polar bears in colder regions and leaner like brown bears in hotter places – perhaps because it’s better suitable for conditions.
The analysis was conducted on 173 athletes who competed in nearly 200 Ironman Extreme races over two decades.
And it turns out that taller, thinner men are about 2.5% faster when temperatures are warmer than shorter men, according to study author Prof Ryan Kalsbeck of Dartmouth University in the US.
This is likely because the body has more surface area, so it can dissipate heat from more of the skin and produce more sweat to cool it down.
Women also seemed to run faster in warmer temperatures when they had longer legs, but not by much.
This may be because women produce less sweat than men, so having longer legs to sweat than in hot weather matters less.
The study only found a difference in running performance, but Professor Kalsbeck said the results could be applicable to other sports as well.
This could mean summer football leagues are getting hotter and footballers like Manchester City star Erling Haaland and Saudi Al-Nasr star Cristiano Ronaldo could be feeling better than Wayne Rooney or Lionel Messi.
Professor Kalsbeck, whose new research has been published in the journal PLOS One, said: “People who strive for personal achievement can consider sports venues and average temperatures to choose a seat based on whether they are thin and long-limbed or vice versa. certainly indicate that a tennis player, a lean man like Andy Murray, could do better at the warmer US Open than at Wimbledon, or a cyclist like Chris Froome could do better if he wanted to run marathons in warm countries.
The study included nearly 150-mile triathlons in very hot places like Hawaii and South Africa and cooler countries like Finland and Canada.
Maximum temperatures ranged from less than 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) to almost 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit).
The study compared the height of the athletes and measured the length of the legs and arms digitally using photographs of the competition.
Men have been found to run faster in warmer temperatures, but not when cycling, which can be less affected by heat due to airflow, or while swimming, which involves wearing a warm suit even in cold weather.
The findings support the theory of 19th-century biologists Carl Bergmann and Joel Asaph Allen that the overall body size of animals and the length and thickness of their limbs are related to their climate.
Source: Daily Mail
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