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.
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 ladies only possess on average 15 per cent muscles. The consequence: women freeze.
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.
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.
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.
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 home & office — and that has been the case for many years.
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