Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 471-480

First online:

Investigation of gender difference in thermal comfort for Chinese people

  • Li LanAffiliated withInstitution of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • , Zhiwei LianAffiliated withInstitution of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Email author 
  • , Weiwei LiuAffiliated withInstitution of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • , Yuanmou LiuAffiliated withCollege of Basic Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Abstract

Gender difference in thermal comfort for Chinese people was investigated through two laboratory experiments. Both subjective assessment and objective measurement were taken during the experiment. Skin temperature (17 points) and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured in one of the experiment. Our results show that there are gender differences in thermal comfort for Chinese people. Correlation of thermal sensation votes and air temperature and vapor pressure shows that females are more sensitive to temperature and less sensitive to humidity than males. Subjective assessment, skin temperature and HRV analysis suggest that females prefer neutral or slightly warmer condition, due to their constantly lower skin temperature and the fact that mean skin temperature is a good predictor of sensation and discomfort below neutrality. Female comfortable operative temperature (26.3°C) is higher than male comfortable operative temperature (25.3°C), although males and females have almost the same neutral temperature and that there is no gender difference in thermal sensation near neutral conditions.

Keywords

Gender difference Thermal comfort Skin temperature Heart rate variability (HRV)