You bundle up in a sweater for a summer day at the office while many of your male co-workers show up in short sleeves. You complain about working in Elsa’s Ice Palace; your co-workers think you’re a bit dramatic (and perhaps slightly addicted to “Frozen”).
Turns out there is a good reason for your wardrobe differences. A new study found office temperatures are typically set for men’s comfort, based on males’ faster metabolic rate.
According to authors of the study, Boris Kingma and Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, indoor climate regulations are set according to 1960s standards. While there are a number of variables in the formula, one – resting metabolic rate – is based on an “average” (i.e., a 40-year-old, 154-pound) male, which “may overestimate female metabolic rate by up to 35%.”
The study, published this week in Nature Climate Change, looked at a small sample of females, but confirmed what other studies have found: Females tend to be more comfortable at temperatures about 5 degrees higher than those preferred by males.
While the U.S. government has no official regulations regarding office temperature, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends office temperatures be kept between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity set between 20 percent and 60 percent.
The study’s researchers say homes and offices generate as much as 30 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Keeping the office at a higher temperature would cut energy use, they say.
This story, "Even when it comes to office temperatures, men get special treatment!" was originally published by Fritterati.