European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 15–24 | Cite as

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

  • Takako FukazawaEmail author
  • George Havenith
Original Article


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 



We would express our sincere thanks to our subjects for their time and effort and to W. L. Gore Germany for their helpful technical support. The first author T. Fukazawa gratefully acknowledges research grants from Grand-in-Aid for PD research fellow (14-11488) of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Grand-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (18700573) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan (MEXT), which enabled us to conduct this study. We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Yutaka Tochihara for his support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fukuoka Women’s UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

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