Why you're so cold

Office temperatures are set with men in mind, not women

Phoebe McPherson wears a Snuggie blanket at the LifeFuels office in Reston, Va. (Drew Angerer/The New York Times)

Never mind the heatwaves that have been happening outside the offices many of us work in. We may be in the middle of the dog days of summer, but women are bundling up at work in cardigans and pashminas and emerging midday to defrost “in the noon sunlight, no matter how wilting it is outdoors,” as Petula Dvorak observed in The Washington Post last week. Meanwhile, men are mostly unaffected and comfortably go about their workdays without any indoor climate issues. There’s now some new research that explains this most vexing annual problem. Office thermostats aren’t set with women in mind. In fact, they’re not really set with most men in mind either. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, scientists pinpointed optimal indoor temperatures based on the metabolic rate of a 40-year-old, 154-pound man, which, according to a new study, can be as much as 35 percent higher than the average metabolic rates of women. According to the U.S. government, the ideal office temperature is somewhere between 69 degrees and 73 degrees — a far cry from the temperature at which most women feel comfortable.

Read the full story at Quartz.

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