Science SEX

‘Office Air Conditioning Is Sexist’ Says Science

Hey ladies! Are you sick of shivering at your desk under five office cardigans while your male colleagues kick back in perfect comfort? New research suggests you’re not just being a baby; your office thermostat was literally set by sexists in the 1960s.

According to a study published by Nature Climate Change, most office buildings set air conditioning based on “a thermal comfort model that was developed in the 1960s.” The New York Times breaks down the complex formula, which “considers factors like air temperature, air speed, vapor pressure and clothing insulation.” Sounds smart. Only there’s one variable in the formula that’s gotten more and more off base since they started letting us ladies have jobby jobs: The “resting metabolic rate” is based on that of an average-sized 40-year-old man. D’oh!

Mostly because the average woman is smaller and has more body fat than the average man, women have slower metabolic rates, while men are basically testosterone-fueled furnaces. (Muscle having a higher metabolic rate than fat.) The study states the current model “may overestimate resting heat production of women by up to 35 percent.” Combine that with the fact that women tend to wear less clothing in the summer than men, and you’ve got a recipe for some very cold broads.

Beyond any nipple-related embarrassment they may experience, people who are cold are less productive, which undermines women in some very real ways. Plus, all that sexism is a huge drain on environmental resources. Via The Times:

“If women have lower need for cooling it actually means you can save energy, because right now we’re just cooling for this male population,” said Joost van Hoof, a building physicist at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study.

Maybe it’s time to factor in women when calculating “the average person.” Or maybe it’s our turn to set the thermostats for 50+ years, buying the human race some time to find a new planet in the process. In exchange, we will tolerate the sight of men’s hairy legs. It’s only fair.

‘Office Air Conditioning Is Sexist’ Says Science


3 replies on “‘Office Air Conditioning Is Sexist’ Says Science”

You can always put on more clothes, but when I start stripping people call the cops.


Wait, were they being serious?

Looking on the bright side, this is GOOD NEWS.
If the office thermostat is now the big news worthy story, it must be safe to assume that our worlds problems have been solved last night while I was sleeping and peace on earth has come at last. Congratulations!

Now we can focus on the NEW big issues, like staying fashionable at work in the summer.

One step closer to having a perfect world filled with butterfly kisses and unicorn dreams.


Wearing socks is sexist. NOT wearing socks is sexist. Everything is sexist. Do we really want to hear more “sexist” accusations?

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