Exploring internal body heat balance to understand thermal sensation

B. R. M. Kingma*, M. Schweiker, A. Wagner, W. D. van Marken Lichtenbelt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

A biological perspective is used to understand thermal sensation. The main premise is that thermal sensation serves an organism for the regulation of body temperature. A biological concept related to this premise is the physiological thermoneutral zone (TNZ). Within the TNZ the body can adjust body tissue insulation to maintain thermal balance and a stable core temperature. The approach presented here is based on the assumption that humans express neutral thermal sensation near the centre of their TNZ. To test this hypothesis, dTNZ(op) is defined as the distance between measured operative temperature and the centre of the TNZ, and dTNZ(sk) as the distance between measured mean skin temperature and the centre of the TNZ. The TNZ centre is calculated with a biophysical model using measured data from a climate chamber study with 16 female subjects. Regression between observed thermal sensation votes (TSV) and dTNZ(x) revealed that the intercept corresponds with a slightly higher-than-neutral TSV and a strong linear relationship between TSV and dTNZ(op) and dTNZ(sk). This approach shows great potential to improve the understanding of human thermal sensation in the context of physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-818
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • biology
  • homeostasis
  • indoor environmental quality
  • physiology
  • thermal comfort
  • thermal perception
  • thermal sensation
  • thermoregulatory behaviour
  • MILD COLD STRESS
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
  • AMBIENT TEMPERATURES
  • COMFORT
  • MODELS
  • WATER
  • THERMOREGULATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • ROLES
  • YOUNG

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