If you're the type of woman who's always wrapping herself in a giant blanket during the steaming hot summer months at work, there's a reason for that. According to a new report, office temperatures are tailored for 40-year-old, 154-pound men.
The report, published in Nature Climate Change, found that the temperature in buildings is based on a 1960s "thermal comfort model" determined by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
The model takes factors like clothing, humidity, air speed and metabolism into consideration, but there are a few problems with that, including that it was established five decades ago. For context, Forbes reported "the percentage of adult American women who are employed climbed from about 37 percent in 1965 to about 55 percent in 2008, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Bureau of Economic Research."
"Women are generally smaller than men and have a higher body fat percentage. So, their metabolic rate is 20 percent to 35 percent lower," lead researcher Boris Kingma said, according to Business Insider. Because muscle keeps the body warmer than fat does, this explains why office temperatures are usually just fine for men.
As physicist Joost van Hoof pointed out to the New York Times, “If women have lower need for cooling it actually means you can save energy, because right now we’re just cooling for this male population."
Besides helping the environment out, there are other reasons to cut back on air conditioner use. Air conditioners can lead to breathing problems, fatigue and headaches, to name a few.
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