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International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 323–332 | Cite as

Thermal sensation and thermophysiological responses to metabolic step-changes

  • T. Goto
  • J. Toftum
  • R. de Dear
  • P. O. Fanger
Original Article

Abstract

This study investigated the effect on thermal perception and thermophysiological variables of controlled metabolic excursions of various intensities and durations. Twenty-four subjects were alternately seated on a chair or exercised by walking on a treadmill at a temperature predicted to be neutral at sedentary activity. In a second experimental series, subjects alternated between rest and exercise as well as between exercise at different intensities at two temperature levels. Measurements comprised skin and oesophageal temperatures, heart rate and subjective responses. Thermal sensation started to rise or decline immediately (within 1 min) after a change of activity, which means that even moderate activity changes of short duration affect thermal perceptions of humans. After approximately 15–20 min under constant activity, subjective thermal responses approximated the steady-state response. The sensitivity of thermal sensation to changes in core temperature was higher for activity down-steps than for up-steps. A model was proposed that estimates transient thermal sensation after metabolic step-changes. Based on predictions by the model, weighting factors were suggested to estimate a representative average metabolic rate with varying activity levels, e.g. for the prediction of thermal sensation by steady-state comfort models. The activity during the most recent 5 min should be weighted 65%, during the prior 10–5 min 25% and during the prior 20–10 min 10%.

Keywords

Activity Comfort Indoor climate Transients 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Danish Technical Research Council as part of the research programme of the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy established at the Technical University of Denmark. The authors wish to thank Professor Bodil Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, for her valuable advice on the assessment of metabolic transients.

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Copyright information

© ISB 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Goto
    • 1
  • J. Toftum
    • 2
  • R. de Dear
    • 3
  • P. O. Fanger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureTokyo Polytechnic UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.International Centre for Indoor Environment and EnergyTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Division of Environmental and Life SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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