Women Really Do Feel The Cold More Than Men, Reveals Study | TOTUM
Ben HaywardFebruary 7th
2019

In news that will no doubt see thermostats being cranked up across the country, a study has revealed that women probably do feel the cold much more than men.

The study, carried out by Dutch scientists Boris Kingma and Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt found evidence to suggest that women do indeed feel the cold more than men and are more susceptible to lower temperatures.

The paper proposes that on average women are comfortable at a temperature of 2.5C warmer than men - around 24 to 25C.

colder1ImageTempen-GB

There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Professor Paul Thornalley of Warwick Medical School says variations in the average metabolic rate and body heat production between men and women could explain why there is a difference in environmental temperature required for comfort between males and females.

A person's metabolism is responsible for producing energy, including heat, with the resting metabolic rate being the minimum level of energy a person expends when resting.

On average women have a lower resting metabolic rate than men, mostly due to the fact that in general men have more fat free body mass such as skin, bone and muscle.

colder44ImageTempen-GB

Another reason Professor Thornalley poses for the differences between men and women is ‘brown fat’. Brown fat produces heat through a process called thermogenesis and could account for further variations in the resting metabolic rate, especially in men.

Basically, because men usually have a higher proportion of brown fat producing heat, on average they don't feel the cold as easily as women. However, on the other hand, men are more susceptible to overheating during heatwaves for the same reason.

Professor Thornalley does point out that these are only averages, not everyone is the same as some men will have lower resting metabolic rates than some women.

Will this solve any thermostat related arguments? Probably not...

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