How cold is too cold?

If you were naked, at what low temp would you be at a higher likelihood to get sick?

Edit: sigh. Ok, let’s assume no extra movement, a sitting position, n dancing, no blockage of the air ducts, etc. etc. etc.

I know you opened this in connection with the thermostat wars thread and it’s more to do with immune system than freezing to death, but you might be interested in this thread, about the minimum temperature for hypothermia.

I don’t really care about the survival temp of the rhinovirus nor the min temp for hypothermia.

What I do know is that under 72, people get sick more often.

Where do you know that from? It appears to be a myth.

You don’t have to believe me. Set your AC to ~71, stand in front of it naked, and see if you feel fine after a few hours.

If you already know so much about it, and your post is your cite, what’s the point of your OP?

Another source disputes your experience.

Why don’t people who spend most of their time in temperatures lower than 71 F get more colds?

So you’re just interested in anecdotes then? Here’s one. My heat is set on 58 F right now, as it is every winter. I’m wearing a T-shirt and gym shorts. I haven’t had a cold in years, mainly because I don’t interact with people very much.

According to you, I should be near death.

The OP question seems to be ambiguous. “Getting sick” really means two things. You sucumb to some infections agent and become “sick”. Or your body begins to malfunction in some manner and you suffer from some condition related to that malfunction.

But, the human body is very good a regulating its temperature so long as you don’t pull it past a given point. As a kid I was told that roughly 70F was pretty much the temerature that a naked human with “average activity” in still air, would maintain body temperature. Whatever average activity really meant.

The UK ran a Cold Research Unit until 1989. (People actually took holidays there where they were infected with colds.) One of the early results was to prove that no matter how miserable and cold you were, if you were not already infected with a cold, you would not develop one. There is also a Cold Reserach Centre at Cardif University, still operating. They did some work that suggests that getting physically cold may provide a true increase in the severity of an existing cold infection. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi/subsites/cold/commoncold.html - about half way down. But this involved putting people’s feet in buckets of cold water - and actually pulling energy out of the subject. Even then, the theory was that the increased colds were due to simple changes to bloodflow in the nose, and nothing to do with core immune system capability.

If the air temperature is cold, and your body temperature has not dropped, there is no reason to think that you will suffer any problems. If your body temperature has dropped, you have a real and immediate problem that needs addressing right now.

That’s the max temp in our house all year long, in fact if it’s that hot in the house, we’re sure as hell not wearing many clothes.
53-57, now yeah we’re covering up.
We don’t get colds from that.

The master speaks.

In general, a runny nose, which could be misinterpreted as “a cold” (same goes for watery eyes). There is no research to suggest this is anything more than a temporary physiological response.

The human body is surprisingly adaptable… people live in all sorts of extremes, including heat, cold, altitude, humidity and dryness.

The only risk you run from sitting too long in a too-cold environment while not appropriately dressed is hypothermia, which occurs at far lower temperatures than this arbitrary threshold of 72F. It may not be comfortable, but that doesn’t automatically make it unhealthy.

During the summer, my AC is 68 if I’m super hot and 70 if I can deal. Right now, I’m not running my heat at night (30 something outside) and last night right before bed, the thermostat said 58. This morning it said 55.

I am around people a lot- high school students, clients, etc. and I am still rarely sick.

Interesting perspective. If this were true, how come I saw so many people at the Green Bay game last night with no shirts and/or pants on? It was 20 degrees on the field, wind chill was 8 degrees (per ESPN), according to you it seems they should have been dead by the 4th quarter, no?

To save energy, our thermostat is set at 60°F in the winter. We wear sweaters and warm socks.
We are rarely sick, unless exposed to other people carrying diseases we have no immunity to.

Hijack, but you people are all weird. 58 degrees in winter? Sheesh, we have heat for a reason, you barbarians.

If I want to wear a sweater, I’ll go outside :slight_smile: