Why women are always freezing in the office – and men aren’t!

 

I don’t think I’ve introduced myself yet? I’m Sarah Reichle. Cold hands and feet are normal for me. In winter I’m often to be found near a radiator, and even in the summer I rarely leave the house without a cardigan. Typical woman, some of you may be thinking – and you know what? That’s actually right! Something people have for years shrugged off with a smug smile is now proven, and here it is in black and white: women feel the cold quicker than men. So here are six reasons why that is, as well as a solution to the problem.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 1: skin

On the subject of skin: I’m sure everyone has heard at some point that we women have thinner skin than men. The gents are ahead of us by a full 20 per cent on this point. When it’s cold the blood vessels constrict, reducing the blood flow in the skin. That’s more straightforward if skin is thin rather than thick. The surface of a woman’s skin is even up to three degrees colder than that of a man. Accordingly the temperature difference between the skin and the core of the body is greater. The consequence: women freeze.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 2: muscle mass

Muscles generate heat that is distributed around the body. But muscles don’t just generate heat, they store it too. The male hormone testosterone is chiefly responsible for the fact that the gentlemen of the species have around 40 per cent muscle mass even without daily weight training, whilst we ladies only possess on average 15 per cent muscles. The consequence: women freeze.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 3: fat distribution
In terms of fat, we women may be a step ahead of the men, because we have a 25 per cent body fat ratio – almost double that of a man – although the distribution of a woman’s fat cannot always be termed an unqualified success. Bum, thighs, hips and chest: that’s where female fat accumulates. In the case of men, the fat is stored around the belly, thereby keeping – you guessed it – the internal organs warm. And unlike muscles, fat can insulate the heat but not manufacture it. The consequence: women freeze.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 4: metabolism

According to scientists, another key factor in the differing perception of cold is something known as the “metabolic rate”. It states how much energy a person needs to keep the body’s vital functions running (e.g. breathing, pulse). On average, a woman’s metabolic rate is 35 per cent lower than that of a man. That means women need less energy to keep their vital functions going. That’s not such a bad thing, however: less energy also means less heat production. The consequence: women freeze.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 5: blood pressure

Young, slim women often struggle with low blood pressure. As well as dizziness and fatigue, other symptoms include cold hands and feet. So low blood pressure intensifies the sensation of coldness. The consequence: women freeze.

Why women are quicker to feel the cold. Reason 6: reproduction

Women are also freezing cold because of reproduction. If it’s cold, the body draws heat away from the limbs to keep the female organs warm. Why? Because the internal body temperature has top priority for women because of the possibility of pregnancy. The abdomen is warm, but the hands and feet cool down. The consequence: women freeze.

So as you can see: there are plenty of biological reasons why women are more sensitive to cold than men. So it is scarcely a wonder that room climate is one of the most frequent causes for complaint in the office – and that has been the case for many years.

A study shows: the room climate is the number 1 cause for complaint in the office © IFMA study

A study shows: the room climate is the number 1 cause for complaint in the office © IFMA study

This fact inspired us at Klöber to develop an innovative solution for the problem of the differing temperature requirements between men and women. Although it is still only possible to regulate the general room temperature as a uniform macroclimate, our latest product innovation, the Klöber Klimastuhl, can now be used to allow every sitter to control their own temperature. The heating function on the Klimastuhl warms the so-called body contact surfaces via the seat and backrest to a maximum 37 °C, which is the same as the human body temperature. The ventilation function of the Klimastuhl conducts excess heat away from the body, allowing it to reduce moisture in the seat area by up to 95 per cent, and in the back area by up to 74 per cent. That creates a pleasant cooling effect.

What I personally like best about the Klimastuhl is that I can regulate the temperature at my workstation: I simply adjust the temperature using two rocker switches on the right-hand side of the seat to suit my needs.

“heating” and “ventilation” functions are controlled with just two rocker switches © Klöber

“heating” and “ventilation” functions are controlled with just two rocker switches © Klöber

 

Any more questions or suggestions concerning the Klöber Klimastuhl? Please leave your thoughts in the comments box.

 

www.kloeber-klimastuhl.com

Sarah Reichle

Hello, I’m Sarah Reichle and I’m the newest member of the Klöber team. With my degree in Communication Design the Marketing Department is exactly the right place for me. Here,…


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5 Comments
  • Jakob Rutschmeier
    Reply 2. August 2016 at 11:59

    Wie wärs mal damit aufzuhören, immer neue Gründe dafür anzuführen, dass Männer und Frauen ja soooo unterschiedlich seien. https://www.taz.de/!5221188/

  • Berardo Matalucci
    Reply 15. March 2017 at 18:39

    Dear Sarah. Great post. I am a PhD Candidate at CASE (Rensselaer Polytechnic Insititute) in New York and I am focusing my research on personalized comfort and microclimates in buildings. I was wondering if I may use the main image of the blog (one female and male) for my thesis and presentations.

    Please let me know.
    -berardo

    • Corinna Litz
      Reply 28. March 2017 at 16:01

      Dear Berardo,
      you are welcome to use the main image of the blog article for your thesis and presentations.

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