Your Freezing Office Temp Is A Sexist Convention
The only thing that might be more uncomfortable than showing up at work with sweat dripping down your face? Shivering in the arctic chill of your office as your sweat-soaked outfit turns clammy.
If you live in a warm climate, that's just your typical summer workday. But why?
Well, a Dutch study published Monday sheds some light on what may be causing the problem. The temperature set by most office buildings is based on a model developed in the '60s. And, what was different about offices then? Arguably to their detriment, they were largely male-dominated.
So, this equation takes into account only the average male, who has more body mass and a higher metabolic rate than a woman. These skewed variables can result in a major overestimate (up to 35%) of women's metabolic rate. The faster your body metabolizes, the more internal heat your body creates.
To put it simply: Your office temperature is probably based exclusively on the comfort of the average male. Gotta love it.
Oh, and if the thermal comfort of women were taken into account, our buildings would actually be more energy efficient, since they require less energy to cool.
We can hope that all the noise being made on this topic leads to a reconfiguring of the temperature model, and eventual implementation of more accurate, and environmentally friendly indoor climate standards. But that process will not be a short one. In the meantime, expect to see me wearing long johns to the office in protest.
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