Ah the central heating. The battleground of domesticity, eternally being turned up and down by irritated fingers without a truce in sight.
Those who have ever cohabited with a member of the opposite sex will know this weirdly gendered divide all too well.
Women tend to enjoy keeping the air around them as snuggly warm as a thermal sleeping bag while men generally prefer a refreshing (?) arctic blast.
No doubt there is an optimum temperature capable of keeping both sides of a heterosexual couple comfortable, but I have yet to figure it out.
According to a study conducted by two Dutch scientists, this gripe isn’t purely anecdotal. Men and women actually do experience the cold in very different, and not at all imagined, ways.
This paper, published in Nature with the title Energy consumption in buildings and female thermal demand – approximately 24 to 25C – reveals how women are at their most comfortable, temperature-wise, when they are 2.5C warmer than men.
Professor Paul Thornalley, from Warwick Medical School, spoke with the BBC about the science behind this weird phenomenon, explaining how variation in terms of average production metabolic rate and body heat of men and women, ‘may explain why there is a difference in environmental temperature required for comfort between males and females’.
Professor Thornalley continued to explain:
A great determinant of resting metabolic rates is the fat free body mass in people’s bodies.
Day 2 with no central heating. FML. pic.twitter.com/H8HD3uBvJl
— US Citizen CJ (@Bruins_Gal_91) February 18, 2019
For now, there appears to be no compromise in sight, aside from implementing a strange nighttime regime of hot water bottles and ice packs.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.