A new study has finally validated the anecdotal problem of women always feeling cold in offices — yes, offices are in fact too cold.
According to the study
, office buildings today are kept at temperatures more suitable for the average 1960s man, and because women typically produce less body heat, they are more likely to feel chilly in the office.
The study found that the current standards for indoor climate regulations were developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
in the 1960s using thermodynamic metrics that focus on the comfort and metabolic rate of the average male. In other words, offices are set to a temperature that doesn’t take into account how much heat the modern day female body generates, overestimating metabolic rates by as much as 35%.
The study’s researchers confirmed their results by measuring the metabolic rates of 16 women who worked behind a desk. All were found to be measurably lower than what the 1960s model used.
In addition to producing more comfortable workers, the researchers argue that if the values for temperature control reflected actual metabolic rates of modern day men and women, buildings would also save money on energy used by air conditioners and carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced.
Another contributing factor for why offices feel so chilly is that women have less muscle and more fat than the average male — it’s the muscles, after all, that produce heat. Separate studies
have also gathered that ideal environments for women on average fall at a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit while men on average prefer 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
So ladies, if you ever needed solid reasoning that your office is just too cold, blame sexist temperature models of the 1960s.