Are you always cold at the office? It turns out you might just be wearing the wrong shoes, according to a new study conducted by the University of California, Berkley.
Architect Edward Arens wanted to test a new air-conditioning system, so he asked Stefano Schiavon at Berkley to help out. His idea to blast heated or cooled air from the floor rather than ceiling vents came about based on the fact that your extremities – feet included – are extremely sensitive to temperature. If you feel cold, the blood vessels in your hands and feet constrict to prevent heat loss.
The Atlantic reports that regulations on office temperature are based on research from the 1970s, when most employees were men wearing wool suits and socks. Women are more susceptible to low temperatures anyway, so sticking to this outdated policy isn’t good enough for today’s office.
Some employees resort to miniature personal heaters, which can cause a fire risk. Short of bringing a comfy duvet to work – not the most professional look – there isn’t really a good solution that works for everyone when it gets cold at the office.
Arens has built a foot-warming system uses a hot bulb to radiate heat directly at the user’s feet. In testing, a group of librarians stayed warm even when their office temperature dropped by four degrees Fahrenheit. He also tested heated insoles, although they don’t fit well into typical female footwear.
At Berkley, Arens had Schiavon test a system that blew cold air at foot level at students wearing flip-flops (to simulate the sandals and bare ankles normally sported by women during the summer). They found that doing so could actually save businesses money on their energy bills, as such a system would keep employees cool even when the office is hot during the summer.
Short-term, the findings show that choice of footwear plays a big part in whether you’re cold at the office or not. So save your strappy shoes for the summer and break out thick socks and boots for the winter.
Read the original article at theatln.tc/2d1es63