Here's why women feel cold in the office

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jacob
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Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by jacob »

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/03/news/of ... for-women/

Apparently office heating standards are still set for the metabolic rate of an average 40 year old male weighing 155 pounds from 1960. Of course, modern 2015 average males and females (Americans) are both now some 30 pounds(+) heavier and 1" taller than back then, so ... time for an adjustment?

If this is indeed possible ... our office for example seem to be dialed in for whatever the temperature was two days ago. So if there's a brief spike, we'll be freezing two days from now. It's not unusual for people to bring in heaters and sweaters in the summer because the building AC is cranked up high. Talk about wastefulness.

Not that stupid traditions can't be carried far longer than that. We also adjust our indoor office temperature to match a business suit that was developed for unheated rooms in England almost two hundred years ago(*).

In any case, metabolic rate and activity level explains a lot in terms of what temperature people feel comfortable. During the winter, I'll often be sitting in a tshirt while DW is under a blanket. Conversely, in the summer, I'll be crumbled up in a fetal position crying on the floor while DW is wearing jeans.---Well, okay, not quite ... but lying on the floor/lowest point totally works. Much cooler than 1.5 feet further up.

(+) No such drift if you're French or Japanese though. Frechmen (both genders if it wasn't obvious) are some 30 pounds lighter, so like 1960s era Americans.

(*) BTW, if you don't heat much during winter, I totally recommend wool suit and tie for your leisure wear. It's very comfortable! I actually wore that in the RV at times back when I wrote the ERE book :geek:

vexed87
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by vexed87 »

AC isn't common in the UK, but our office is modern and we are 'fortunate' to have it in a building designed to be ecologically friendly (think waterless urinals, rain water used for cisterns, even automatic sun roofs to ventilate/let excessive heat out automatically.

Despite this certain colleagues override the default (and eco) settings turning the thermostat way down in the summer while the windows are open and go as far as set it at 30°C in winter, despite acceptable of summer AC temperatures!

I gave up trying to talk sense into certain colleagues about sensible use of the climate system, you can't fix stupid after all!

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jennypenny
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by jennypenny »

In a control study of 16 women, the researchers found that the ideal temperature for women was almost 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it is for men.
Does 16 really count as a 'study'? (And did they ask any menopausal/perimenopausal women if they were cold? Not likely. :P )

I think a bigger discrepancy is in the dress code. Men wear almost the same thing to work every day year round--slacks and a long-sleeve shirt. When it's oppressively hot they might wear a polo shirt, but you don't see them heading to work in Bermudas. OTOH, women (who generally wear less clothing to work than men anyway) adjust their clothing to match the seasons including style and material. I'm not sure which is easier to change--clothing or building temps. It seems to me that workplaces should try harder to match 'real' temperatures and then let employees dress appropriately for the weather and their own comfort level.

I hope statements in the article like "How pervasive is bias against women in the workplace? Well, it's literally in the air." were tongue-in-cheek. There are still biases against women in the workplace, but I don't think office temperature is one of them. Honestly, I have very little sympathy for women who wear clothing like thin dresses and high heels to work and then complain that they are uncomfortable. Put on dress slacks and close-toed shoes and then if you're still uncomfortable, I'll listen.

henrik
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by henrik »

I think most people regardless of gender are way too sensitive about the exact temperature at any given point in their lives:)
It seems to me that workplaces should try harder to match 'real' temperatures and then let employees dress appropriately for the weather and their own comfort level.
Yes, it would let people adjust more easily between different environments and help a lot with energy efficiency.

I wonder if there is a qualified reason behind sleeping bags' comfort temperatures being rated differently for men and women, sometimes significantly so?

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by black_son_of_gray »

I would think that the degree of hairiness (i.e. body hair) may also shift the comfort range a few degrees, favoring men in colder environments.

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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by cmonkey »

Not really liking the feminist slant to these articles talking about why women feel cold in the office, but it is interesting none-the-less.

The DW and I have always known that I am a heater and she is a freezer and we work well together.

Our office is always too hot for me, but I sit on the south side of a brick building in front of a large window that bakes in the sun. Even in winter I am too hot, it really sucks. Part of it could be that I am always up and walking around about once every hour or two. I would love to wear a sweatshirt (I find them cozy above everything else) but would absolutely bake in one.
jacob wrote:BTW, if you don't heat much during winter, I totally recommend wool suit and tie for your leisure wear. It's very comfortable! I actually wore that in the RV at times back when I wrote the ERE book :geek:
I love the thought of wearing wool (and we're planning sheep in our future) but I just can't get over the itchiness. Did you just get used to it or is there a way to minimize?

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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by jacob »

Suits usually have liners. Otherwise, e.g. sweaters, I suppose I just got used to it. Or maybe it's just that if I'm wearing wool, I'm probably also wearing long underwear or at least a shirt. You can start with something finer like Merino before getting hardcore with Mackinaw.

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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

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jennypenny
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by jennypenny »

:evil:

What bunk. It's worse than bunk. Beyond the pointlessness of saying that "Men control the temperatures in offices" based on anecdotal evidence as she admits, calling everything sexism (or racism, or whatever) hides the real sexism still lurking in the workplace. They finally got to the real point of dressing and setting HVAC based on the season, but calling it sexist is ridiculous.

I used to be such a hard ass about this stuff (as some of you know ;) ), but between Beyonce's fish-net feminism and this type of silly sexism, I no longer see the kind of thoughtful equality women used to seek. *sigh* I'm tapping out. Women are on their own.

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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by JamesR »

The summer AC temperature should be optimized to stop that one person from sweating in the office.

Think of that poor person who is already wearing t-shirts and shorts, and has to deal with big armpit stains for the entire day. 23C is probably fine in this scenario. Maybe 24C. Everyone else can wear pants dammit.

cmonkey
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by cmonkey »


Is this satire? Serious question it seems like it. I have never heard of skytv. Is this OnionTV?

shade-tree
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by shade-tree »

At my new office, this summer I discovered my co workers frequently use space heaters to warm up when it is a balmy 80 to 90 degrees outside. I agree, it's goddamn cold in there! Whyyy?! But When my nose starts to run, I put on a scarf and sweater. I'd like to lay eyes on the electric bill to see how much this heat battle costs. Maybe we can add some ftes with the saving from letting everybody sweat it out.

vexed87
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Re: Here's why women feel cold in the office

Post by vexed87 »

@Cmonkey, It's a legit news channel. Not one I would ever admit to watching though... :shock:

These people... :roll:

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