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Prediction of mean skin temperature in warm environments

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The data collected by the authors in four experimental series have been analysed together with data from the literature, to study the relationship between mean skin temperature and climatic parameters, subject metabolic rate and clothing insulation. The subjects involved in the various studies were young male subjects, unacclimatized to heat. The range of conditions examined involved mean skin temperatures between 33‡ C and 38‡ C, air temperatures (Ta) between 23‡ C and 50‡ C, ambient water vapour pressures (Pa) between 1 and 4.8 kPa, air velocities (Va) between 0.2 and 0.9 m · s−1, metabolic rates (M) between 50 and 270 W · m−2, and Clo values between 0.1 and 0.6. In 95% of the data, mean radiant temperature was within ±3‡ C of air temperature. Based on 190 data averaged over individual values, the following equation was derived by a multiple linear regression technique: ¯Tsk=30.0+0.138Ta+0.254Pa−0.57Va+1.28 · 10−3 M−0.553 Clo. This equation was used to predict mean skin temperature from 629 individual data. The difference between observed and predicted values was within ±0.6‡ C in 70% of the cases and within ±1‡ C in 90% of the cases. It is concluded that the proposed formula may be used to predict mean skin temperature with satisfactory accuracy in nude to lightly clad subjects exposed to warm ambient conditions with no significant radiant heat load.

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Correspondence to Ph. Mairiaux.

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Mairiaux, P., Malchaire, J. & Candas, V. Prediction of mean skin temperature in warm environments. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 56, 686–692 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00424811

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Key words

  • Skin temperature
  • Heat stress
  • Exercise
  • Clothing