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Hot or cold? Expert says there’s good reason for battle of sexes over office thermostats

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Posted at 6:50 AM, Jul 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-30 08:50:02-04

There’s a battle of the sexes brewing in some offices this summer!

It’s all over the thermostat.

Human ecology professor Alan Hedge, of Cornell University, studies people in their working environments. He said differences in how cold or hot women and men get relate to biology, the kind of clothing they wear and the level of activity in their offices.

Heating and cooling standards were set decades ago, he said, and were based on the average male.

Women don’t have layers of fat on their hands, ankles and necks to help keep them warm, he said, and they aren’t as hairy as men. Hair helps keep in the heat.

“On average, the average man has about 30 percent more muscle than the average woman, and muscles generate a significant amount of body heat,” he said.

Men generally also wear suits, and the jacket and ties help fend off the chills.

Research also shows that workers aren’t productive and make more mistakes on the computer because of cold hands.