International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 2009–2019 | Cite as

Mitigation of pedestrian heat stress using parasols in a humid subtropical region

  • Shinichi WatanabeEmail author
  • Jin Ishii
Original article


Concerns over heat illness have been an increasing social problem in humid subtropical regions. One measure for avoiding excessive heat stress in hot outdoor environments is the use of parasols or umbrellas. The advantage of parasols is that they are a mobile and inexpensive way to provide personal shade outdoors. The objectives of this study were to compare the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) under parasols and at an unshaded point as a reference, and to quantify the reduction in WBGT from the use of parasols in a humid subtropical region. Measurements using three parasols of different colors and materials were conducted at the athletics field at Daido University, Nagoya, Japan, between 9:00 and 15:00 Japan Standard Time in August 2015. The WBGT was obtained at heights of 0.1 m (ankles), 1.1 m (abdomen), and 1.7 m (head) above ground, according to the measurement procedure described in ISO 7243. On a sunny and partly cloudy day, the use of a parasol lowered the average globe temperature by up to 6.2 °C, through blocking direct solar radiation. The average reduction in WBGT by the parasol was found to be 1.8 °C at head level in sunny conditions with solar radiation of over 800 W/m2. The reduction in WBGT at head level by the use of parasols in sunny conditions was greater than that in cloudy conditions. However, although parasols can reduce WBGT at the head level of the user regardless of solar radiation, they cannot reduce it at the level of the abdomen or ankles.


Parasol Umbrella WBGT Heat stress Thermal comfort 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25350085. The authors would like to thank Ms. Mana Kawashima and Ms. Kana Inuzuka for conducting a series of measurements and observations.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureDaido UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureMeijo UniversityNagoyaJapan

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