Background: Indoor airflow and thermal comfort are difficult to assess through subjective evaluations because airflow sensations can differ based on various factors, such as personal characteristics, interests, preferences, and the current state of mind. Thus, subjective evaluations should be combined with objective assessments, such as physiological measurements. This study evaluated airflow and thermal comfort through physiological measurements, including skin temperature, electroencephalography, respiration, and electrocardiography, in addition to subjective evaluations. Methods: Twenty participants entered a test room at 30 °C after staying in an acclimation room at 18 °C for 20 min. They were exposed to indirect and direct airflow toward their faces and performed four tasks under each condition: resting, counting to 10 s following time alerts, counting to 10 s in the mind, and mental calculation. The mean speed of the air directed to the participants’ faces was 0.123 m/s and 0.225 m/s in the indirect and direct conditions, respectively. Results: The gamma and beta bands of electroencephalograms taken at the left-temporal (T3) and left-parietal (P7) sites showed significantly lower amplitudes under the indirect condition (gamma, T3: p = 0.034, P7: p = 0.030; beta, T3: p = 0.051, P7: p = 0.028). Similarly, the variability of respiration was lower under the indirect condition (p < 0.010). The amplitudes of gamma and beta waves showed significant correlations with anxiousness levels (gamma, T3: r = 0.41; beta, T3: r = 0.35). Conclusions: Our results suggest that indirect heating airflow causes lower mental stress and fatigue than those induced by direct flow, which is equivalent to more comfort. The results of this study suggest that physiological measurements can be used for the evaluation of unconscious indoor comfort, which cannot be detected by subjective evaluations alone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)