The Science Behind Why Women Are Always Freezing In Offices

To all women who are always freezing at work finally know who to blame – MEN!

The Science Behind Why Women Are Always Freezing In OfficesIf you’re a woman who works in an office and you’re always freezing , you’re not alone. Ladies, it turns out that most office buildings are kept at a temperature that’s comfortable to the average man. But women typically produce less body heat than men, meaning they’re more likely to feel chilled in the workplace, a new study finds.

Women’s physiology and wardrobe selection are also factors. Joost van Hoof, a building physicist at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, commented that:

Many men, they wear suits and ties, and women tend to dress sometimes with cleavage. The cleavage is closer to the core of the body, so the temperature difference between the air temperature and the body temperature there is higher when it’s cold.”

The Science Behind Why Women Are Always Freezing In OfficesAnd there could be a benefit to fixing the thermostat besides keeping more people comfortable: If we adjust our office temperatures to better match women’s needs, it could save a lot of energy, researchers say. Buildings all over the world adhere to an indoor temperature standard determined by a model developed in the 1960s by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The model is based on factors like air temperature, air speed, relative humidity, clothing, and the rate at which our bodies make heat, otherwise known as our metabolism.

The Science Behind Why Women Are Always Freezing In OfficesStudies suggest that women prefer a far warmer environment (roughly 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius) than men (72 degrees or 22 degrees Celsius). This could be due to the fact that women’s bodies produce less heat than men’s do. On average, women are smaller than men,and they tend to have less muscle and more fat (and muscle produces more heat than fat).

To see whether adding in the data on women’s metabolisms would change the optimal indoor temperature, Kingma and his colleagues measured the metabolic rates of a small group of 16 young women who did light office work, which is basically, sitting behind a desk. They found that the women’s metabolic rates were measurably lower than those used to calculate the standard values for the 1960s model. In other words, the standard temperatures were too low.

woman-cold-officeThe findings have an added benefit as well: A sizable number of all workers don’t need so much air conditioning, meaning a lot of buildings could probably turn up their thermostats a bit and save money. The researchers called for replacing standard values with actual ones in order to save energy in heating and cooling buildings. In addition to gender, standard temperatures should take into account people’s age and body size and the type of work they are doing, Kingma and colleagues suggested.

As an after thought, the solution for this existing problem would be a change in the temperature setting formula in every ACs.

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