Gender differences in thermal comfort and mental performance at different vertical air temperatures

Nobuko Hashiguchi, Yue Feng, Yutaka Tochihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a thermal environment where air temperature closer to the ground was lower compared to that above on thermal comfort and mental performance in both sexes. Temperatures at the upper and lower parts of the body were controlled independently using a climatic box placed in a climatic chamber. Sixteen healthy subjects (8 males and 8 females) were exposed to the four conditions with various temperature differences between the upper (25°C) and lower part of the body (16, 19, 22, or 25°C). Skin temperature and subjective votes were measured, and two kinds of task using a computer were performed during exposure. Skin temperature on the back for females was higher than that for males during exposure, and the decrease in thigh skin temperature for females under lower air temperature conditions was significantly larger than that for males. A significant difference in thermal comfort at the beginning of the exposure was indicated between genders, especially in the 16 and 19°C conditions, so females became aware of thermal discomfort before males. Although the score of mental performance based on perceptual speed for females was higher than that for males, there was no significant effect from the different vertical air temperatures. The effect of the unequal thermal environment, where air temperature closer to the ground was lower than above, on skin temperature and thermal discomfort for females was significantly higher compared to males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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