If body temperature is 98.6 F, why do we feel uncomfortable when it's 90?


“But even if you’re starkers there’s no way you’ll be happy when it’s 98 in the shade.”

Actually 98 in the shade sounds pretty darn comfortable to me. Sitting on a lounge chair under a tree, surfing the Internet or reading. I like hot weather. :smiley:

68-72 F is a pretty narrow range, innit? I’m pretty happy in the 70’s as a whole.

Yes. Where I live with relative humidity down around 10-15% 98 F isn’t bad at all. On the other hand, I was in Beloit, WI in June. The temperature was around 80-85 F with near 100% relative humidity. It was terrible.

Cecil -

I am often fond of your colorful, even zesty mix of diction from the masterfully used technical jargon to colorful colloquialisms, often in the same paragraph, adding to the punch. Reminds me of good jazz, it does. However, I expect you to weed out that which promotes ignorance, namely, “sweating like a pig.” Pigs don’t sweat due to lack of glands responsible for this phenomenon. You know this, so adjust your language use appropriately. You have enough work to do around here without exacerbating things.

Keep up the good work!

Another contributing factor is that the body’s ability to eliminate heat is not based upon the temperature in the mouth, and some researchers put the “normal” or “averge” oral temperature at about 98.2 these days, but the temperature of the skin, which will be a degree or two cooler.

98.6 Fahrenheit is a too-accurate conversion of 37 Celsius, to begin with.

The Illuminati strike again!!

BTW, does anyone have the answer to a related question. How hot can we tolerate (generally) before the body becomes unable to shed heat and we develop fever? As mentioned, would depend on humidity, so that’s really two questions.

Well, I have walked 9 holes of golf when the official temperature was 114 F as recently as 2004. You must take it easy and carry plenty of water. I wear a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeved shirt and long pants. All but the hat were pretty wet when I finished.

I think another factor that might be part of the answer to the question is that “when it’s 90” is usually really shorthand for “when the outside temperature, in the shade, approximately 6 feet above the ground, is 90 F” (that’s what meteorologists use, and I’m pretty sure just about everyone abides by that convention). Temperatures close to the ground, even in the shade, can be significantly higher, and since a lot of the cooling would have to happen there, well, you sweat.

That picture about made me vomit. I’ll say thats one of the most revolting things I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand why though. Its just a sweaty pig, but , I can’t stop myself from cringing.

The humidity is a huge factor in this, when I lived in Ohio…98 was usually nearly unbearable because of the high humidity. Compare that to Palm Springs where I was reclining by the pool and it was 100 in the shade. That was quite comfortable and I stayed out in it for a couple hours. I don’t know if it’s a huge factor, but my body temperature normally runs a degree or more lower than whats considered normal.