Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 15-24

First online:

Differences in comfort perception in relation to local and whole body skin wettedness

  • Takako FukazawaAffiliated withFukuoka Women’s University Email author 
  • , George HavenithAffiliated withLoughborough University

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Relevance of local skin wettedness (w local) to general thermal comfort while wearing clothing was investigated in eight males. In the experiments, skin wettedness of the whole body (w body) was controlled to be around the thermal comfort limit, while w local in different target locations of equal area (anterior and dorsal torso, arms, and thighs) was pushed beyond the comfort limit using special test garments. Subjects walked on a treadmill at 4.5 km h−1 under 22°C 50% RH. Arms and thighs were thermally in discomfort when their w local exceeded 0.32. On the other hand, discomfort in the anterior and dorsal torso was initiated when their w local arrived at 0.42 and 0.45. That is, the relation of the local comfort limit with w local differed depending upon the location. It was observed; however, that general discomfort was not induced when w body remained below 0.36 even if w local was higher than its local comfort limit.


Thermal comfort Skin wettedness Local thermal comfort limit Evaporation