Workplace Air Conditioning: Men vs. Women


This summer, you’ve probably heard at least one person talk about how cold it is in their workplace, but did you know that air conditioning actually affects men and women differently? According to a study in the Nature Climate Change journal, many office buildings adjust their thermostat temperatures based on a male’s metabolism.

But why?

Well back in the 1960s, the majority of the workforce in office buildings was made up of men, so employers were encouraged to choose their office temperature based on the comfort of a middle-aged man who weighed around 150 pounds. This ensured that bulk of the employees were happy and productive.

On average, male bodies have higher metabolic rates than female bodies, which means they burn energy faster and need cooler temperatures in order to stay comfortable. In fact, men prefer a home temperature of around 72 degrees while women prefer a home temperature of around 77 degrees. This means that women in the workforce (and there are many more these days) now have to deal with too much air conditioning.

So what temperature should office buildings opt for? Many think that a cold workplace means employees will stay awake and be more focused, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Studies have shown that when you’re cold, you’re actually less productive and more likely to make mistakes. With this in mind, employers may benefit more from a warmer thermostat instead of a colder one and in return, they’ll be able to save money on their energy bill.

The same idea goes for homeowners – if you want to lower your energy bill and be more productive, turn your thermostat up a few degrees. Since males prefer about 72 degrees and females prefer about 77, try keeping the thermostat at 74 or 75 degrees.

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