28 February 2019
Keeping athletes safe at night
From head to toe, we’ve got you covered
With our busy schedules, squeezing in a workout during daylight hours can be challenging.
Runners, bikers, joggers or anyone who prefers the great outdoors over the gym may not want to change their routine even if it’s dark out, but they will need to change their workout gear for nighttime visibility. Especially when New Year’s resolutions encourage many people to exchange their holiday indulgences for a healthy lifestyle. For this year alone, 65% of Americans said they would like to exercise more.1 Of those surveyed in Germany, 57% claimed they would engage in more movement and sports in 2019.2
Many dedicated and new athletes alike find evenings a better time to exercise no matter what season it is. Not only does it help those prone to hitting the snooze button in the mornings keep their workouts consistent, nighttime training can also increase performance. Research by Dr. Gladys Pearson, a physiologist at Manchester Metropolitan University, indicates that muscles are 8 to 30% stronger at night making exercise more impactful.3
However, once dusk falls sleek black leggings and dark moisture-wicking hoodies easily blend into the scenery, potentially causing accidents in busy areas like commuter roads. How can brands ensure athletes stay safe at night?
How to get glowing safety reviews
Reflective material easily picks up light and bounce it back to the original source, making it an eye-catching feature far more potent than fluorescent colours. It may seem like a quick fix to throw on a high-visibility vest over normal workout gear, but automobile headlights angle downwards and can still miss athletes alongside of the street. To truly stand out in the dark, the placement of reflective materials is key.
In a 2010 study on cyclist visibility at night, drivers identified 90% of riders when they wore reflective vests with knee and ankle reflectors as opposed to 50% of vest-only riders. This is likely due to our perceptual sensitivity to human patterns of movement, and joints present more motion information than the torso to oncoming motorists.4 Focusing reflective material on the legs where car lights shine and areas of the upper body joints can reduce the danger of workouts after dusk.
Specialised nighttime sportswear is increasingly easier to find, with many styles and brands available to consumers. Well-known athletic companies frequently add retro-reflective elements, like our Signal tapes, throughout the garment for increased noticeability. Products can include understated, strategically placed accents or even full coverage designs on items such as leggings, shorts, hats and gloves in various reflective prints.
Whatever companies choose to help wearers stand out in the dark, using quality reflective materials allows athletes the safest workouts possible. For more information on how Coats can enhance your sportswear, get in touch with a technical expert.