It’s long been known that men have a slightly higher body temperature than women. As a result, “most office buildings set temperatures based on a decades-old formula that uses the metabolic rates of men,” concluded one study from 2015.
Previous research has confirmed a mean temperature of 22 °C for men and 25 °C for women is the comfort zone.
In our club environments the air-conditioned temperature is often much lower than that range. With costs constantly increasing, and applying in-house temperature ranges even below the male preference, are we making a majority of players uncomfortable and increasing our costs? Even setting your air conditioning unit one degree warmer than you normally world can cut costs by up to 10%. *
But sticking to a temperature that only the men find preferable may be bad for business, according to new research. The study, conducted by researchers from the US and Germany and published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that women perform better on mathematical and verbal tasks when the temperature is higher. The opposite effect was seen for men, but the impact was less noticeable.
The researchers recruited 543 students for the study that was conducted in Berlin, led by Chang and Agne Kajackaite from the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre in Germany. They set the room temperatures between 16 °C – 33°C for various parts of the experiment and asked the participants to perform three tasks – one mathematical, one verbal, and one called “cognitive reflection,” where the intuitive answer was the wrong one.
Temperature affected men and women for both the mathematical and verbal tasks but had no impact on the cognitive reflection test.
“It’s been documented that women like warmer indoor temperatures than men, but the idea until now has been that it’s a matter of personal preference,” said Tom Chang, the associate professor of finance and business economics at the USC Marshall School of Business and one of the authors of the study.
While this study was conducted with office room temperatures in mind, it is easy to see how this could also affect players in our club and hotel venues. With a majority of regular gamers, in the female 55+ demographic group should we be looking at our temperatures in clubs to ensure the comfort of our members is paramount.
“What we found is it’s not just whether you feel comfortable or not, but that your performance on things that matter is affected by temperature.”
He added that the most surprising thing about the experiments was how temperature changes don’t have to be extreme to have a noticeable effect.
“People invest a lot in making sure their workers are comfortable and highly productive,” said Chang. “This study is saying even if you care only about money, or the performance of your workers, you may want to crank up the temperature in your office buildings.” I suspect this may equally apply to club environments.