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Why are men always warmer than women?

Why are men always warmer than women?

While the stereotype shows the man turning off the heater as usual and the woman wearing an extra dress, the question is whether this scene holds up scientifically. “At the same temperature, in the office for example, it is true that men are warmer than women,” confirms van Marken Lichtenbelt. “It's true that offices seem cooler for women.”


What is the basis for that? “This is mainly because the thermoneutral zone, almost the comfort zone, is on average at somewhat higher temperatures for women,” says the thermophysiologist. Research conducted by Maastricht University shows that this is partly related to a woman's height, which makes her more vulnerable to low temperatures.


But even if you correct for height, women are more likely to feel cold than men. This has to do with a woman's body composition. “Women generally have more fat mass and less fat-free mass. Fat mass is metabolic, so fat metabolism is somewhat lower. Whereas lean mass, muscle and organs are at a somewhat higher level. So there's The production of heat in the body, as a result of all the reactions in the body, is somewhat higher.”


Therefore, lighting the inner stove requires more effort from the woman. “As a result, they need higher temperatures to maintain their temperature,” says van Marken Lichtenbelt. However, the body temperature of men and women is almost the same. “Women have a slightly lower body temperature. So, to maintain the same temperature, they need a higher ambient temperature.”

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How did we get to those office temperatures? “In the 1970s, models were developed for office and home environments. They are based on men's metabolism. It is not surprising that women complain in most offices,” says the thermophysiologist. “There are complaints and that is justified.”