If you are a man working in a corporate building, you have probably noticed women complaining many times about being too cold in there. Or, if you are a woman, you felt the cold yourself. But, the question is why don’t men complain too? Is it because they endure cold better? I doubt it. It’s because they don’t feel it. Shortly, men’s bodies are hotter than women’s, but let’s not stop here and let’s dig deeper.
The Business Insider Study
Although it is nonscientific, this study could be proof that women feel cooler than men. The survey was completed by 150 people out of which 72 were men and 77 were women. When asked about the temperature of the office, 58 women said it’s too cold compared with 27 men who complained too.
Only 6 women said it was too hot compared with 15 men who wanted to turn up the air conditioning. There were people who thought the temperature was just right, but mostly men of course (30 men and only 13 women).
Men produce more heat
Heat is tightly connected t how much muscle mass you have. In general, men have bigger muscle, thus larger “heat factories.” On the other hand, women have more fat and less muscle. The metabolic rates of men are higher with 35% compared to women. This translates into more heat produced by male bodies.
Why did this problem appear?
The main issue is that temperature standards are based on male subjects. In fact, thermal comfort standard did not change since the 1960s when they were based on 40 year old male subjects who weigh 155 lbs. This model developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineering may have worked 50 years ago but the workforce has changed a lot since then.
The model is definitely not suitable for young 50 lbs. women with lower metabolic rates. This study suggests that women prefer a warmer environment compared to men. While men feel comfortable at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, women need 5 more degrees to feel at ease.
In order to ensure thermal comfort for everybody, air conditioning systems must be reconfigured and the calculations must be redone. However, this is easier said than done. It can be quite difficult to obtain the optimal temperature in an office. Lots of factors are taken into account. For example, you have to think about the number of persons expected to occupy the room, what kind of clothes they are expected to wear, how efficient the installation is etc.
Now, apart from all these, they also have to take into account gender differences regrading metabolic rates. Until now the intrinsic heat production was overestimated but this is due to change so that everyone can enjoy thermal comfort while they work. After all, you spend at least 8 hours of your day at the office. There is another big plus, organizations save money on energy bills and also diminish their carbon dioxide footprint.