I (DK) can totally relate this because I wear a hoodie every single day in the studio. I actually purchased one to keep at work at all times, so I never have to worry about being freezing and having nothing to warm me up. To all the women like me, bundled in sweaters and blankets at work, even though it’s 100 degrees outside: A recent study says that it’s not all in your head. It really IS cold.
But while most of the women in the office are freezing, why are most of the men confused as to why they are cold? It turns out that science says the office A/C may be biased toward temperatures that more comfortable for men — thanks to a formula from more than 50 years ago. A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change notes that the temperatures in many office buildings are based on a formula developed in the 1960s that employs the resting metabolic rate of 154-pound, 40-year-old man.
More than half a century later, the workforce is much different, but the thermostat temperature standard hasn’t evolved. Half of the workforce is now female and that new study finds that females prefer the average temperature at home and in the office to be 77 degrees, compared to 71.6 degrees for men. “Women tend to have lower basal metabolic rates, so they tend to burn off energy a lot slower,” Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil of NYU School of Medicine told TODAY. “They actually give off less heat than men, so they tend to be colder.”
The summer heat also usually dictates clothing choices that can have women taking outdoor breaks to thaw themselves out in order to escape their air-conditioned offices. Women typically wear shorter sleeves in an office settings and quite often a skirt!
The colder temperatures aren’t great for productivity, either. A study cited by the The NY Times showed that people make more mistakes and get less work done when the air temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit compared to when it’s 74 to 76 degrees. Another benefit of kicking a thermostat up a few degrees is to save money. Raising the temp from 72 to 77 degrees can save you about 11 percent on the power bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Every degree above 78 saves two percent on your energy bill, while every degree below 78 costs an extra six percent. It’s SCIENCE FOLKS! (and economics).
Let’s warm this place up asap. ~DK