Women Left Out in Cold By Office AC Standards




This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Karen Hopkin.This'll just take a minute.
A question for the ladies: do you keep a sweater at your workplace desk even in the summer?
Or maybe especially in the summer?
Well, before you go blaming your internal thermostat, listen to this:
a new study shows that the air conditioning in many buildings is set to keep men feeling comfy.
The findings are served up in the journal Nature Climate Change.
People lose productivity when they spend all day shivering or sweating.
But finding that sweet spot,a temperature where everyone is happy can be a real challenge.
Offices are heated in winter and chilled in summer.
But these indoor climate control systems are based on standards established in the 1960s,
when the standard setters envisioned the typical office worker to be a man, 40-years-old and weighing 150 pounds.
In the new study, researchers measured the metabolic rate of 16 young women as they performed light office duties.
And found that the subjects were at a much lower burn than would be men of the accepted standard.
That means that women in the workplace need less air conditioning to get to their comfort zone.
And will really chill out with the AC set to 1960.
The findings also suggest that companies can conserve energy and save money by taking into consideration the ages, sexes and body sizes of their employees.
And that just might stop them from giving us gals the cold shoulder.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Science.I'm Karen Hopkin.