Cold enough for you? Gender bias at the thermostat | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cold enough for you? Gender bias at the thermostat

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 6:46 AM

BUSINESS CASUAL: With thermostats set to keep men comfortable, women bundle up. - TEXTMESSAGES
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  • BUSINESS CASUAL: With thermostats set to keep men comfortable, women bundle up.

It's a slow morning. So I took a look at a New York Time story with a headline about why women always complain about how cold it is at the office.

Turns out sophisticated research has been done about thermostat settings at the office. Bottom line: They are geared to men's metabolism, according to a new study. And, as more women join the executive ranks, more of them must bundle up to endure the Arctice-level settings preferred by (generally larger) men. Think how much energy could be saved if we ratcheted the setting up several degrees!

Finally, scientists (two men, for the record) are urging an end to the Great Arctic Office Conspiracy. Their study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, says that most office buildings set temperatures based on a decades-old formula that uses the metabolic rates of men. The study concludes that buildings should “reduce gender-discriminating bias in thermal comfort” because setting temperatures at slightly warmer levels can help combat global warming.

Much attention is given in the article to women in Snuggies. Less concern is shown for the corollary — the consequences if the women are made comfortable while the men sweat.

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