Portsmouth Uni scientists monitor stress of South Pole trip

DEMANDING Antarctic exploration is tough on body and mind
DEMANDING Antarctic exploration is tough on body and mind

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SPORTS psychologists from the University of Portsmouth will be monitoring the mental state of an armed forces team who are spending two months in Antarctica.

Dr Neil Weston and Dr Chris Wagstaff have interviewed all 24 members of the British Services Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole before the trip and will assess their state of mind on their return, to examine what polar explorers can do to help themselves work in hostile environments.

The team, who are due to set out in January, will spend up to 60 days in sub-zero temperatures conducting scientific research and visiting previously-unexplored territory.

Each person will keep a daily diary recording how they are feeling and what support they receive which will be assessed by the psychologists on their return.

Dr Weston said: ‘The physical and emotional demands will put a huge strain on every member of the team.

‘The aim of our research is to examine the strategies the expedition team use to support each other and to regulate their own emotions to ensure a safe and fully functioning unit.’