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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Partial- and whole-body thermal sensation and comfort, Part I: Uniform environmental conditions


Subjects exposed to uniform environments were polled for their local and overall (whole-body) thermal sensation and comfort. Sensation and comfort for local body parts vary greatly. In cool environments, hands and feet feel colder than other body parts. The head, insensitive to cold but sensitive to warm, feels warmer than the rest of the body in warm environments. Overall sensation and comfort follow the warmest local sensation (head) in warm environments and the coldest (hands and feet) in cool environments. Subjects evaluate neutral conditions as “comfortable”, never “very comfortable”, and overshoot of sensation and comfort during wholebody step-changes is small.

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