Sexist thermostats?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Any woman who has ever worked in an office might agree that the comfort level is not always what we would prefer.  It turns out, to the dismay of many office workers, that the thermostat might actually be sexist.  Yes.  I said sexist.

According to a recent news article in Science, the system predominantly used in office buildings to control the indoor climate is based on a model that was developed in the 1960s.  Some of us were not around during that time, but some may recall that the 1960s workforce was completely male-dominated.  It makes sense, then, that setting the temperature at a mild 21 C (70F) would be suitable for those men wearing three piece suits–as this was the custom during this time period.

Sexist? No.  Just a relic of a different time.  And to be fair, anyone not wearing a three piece suit would most likely find this temperature to be on the chilly side, no matter their gender.

So, what is the ideal office temperature, I wonder?  Another study was mentioned that suggests the ideal–and more neutral–temperature might be 74F, but I posit that we should broaden the research so as not to exclude any gender.  We live in a more progressive era, with diverse workplaces full of women and men together.  But, then, 74F is rather nice.

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