Frankfurt/Main (dpa) – With temperatures in the summer, Germany is debating the possibility of creating cooler apartments in the winter. Since it is not clear how gas shipments from Russia will continue, there is a suggestion that rental apartments will remain cooler in the future.
If you feel quite comfortable at 30 degrees, the prospect of the temperature dropping below 20 degrees in the living room should send a shiver down your spine. But what is a healthy temperature?
individual comfort temperature
The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has long advised Germans to keep indoor temperatures cooler: “The room temperature in the living area should be no higher than 20°C,” says UBA. UBA recommends 18 degrees in the kitchen and 17 degrees in the bedroom, but is limited: “In all cases, an individual comfort temperature is crucial.”
“The temperature that we personally consider pleasant is almost always higher than what is good and healthy,” says Professor Stefan Vavrica, an internal medicine specialist at the Center for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Zurich. It’s not a bad thing to be a little cold, on the contrary: “Indeed, it would be healthy if we shivered from the cold every day, because it breaks down the fatty tissue.”
According to Vavrika, the fact that one is shivering at 25 degrees and the other sweating at 20 degrees is due to the different thermogenesis. This is the ability to produce heat itself. It is created as a byproduct of metabolic processes, such as digestion or muscle activity. As a general rule, obese people can produce heat more easily than thin people, Favrica says. Therefore, they are usually less sensitive to cold.
Immune system, nutrition and climate
But the perception of temperature varies, explains Leonard Fraunberger of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He is a specialist in internal medicine and vice president of the Bavarian Society of Sports Physicians. It has been scientifically proven that what sounds like a cliché: Women freeze more than men. Because whether or not you feel cold depends primarily on muscle mass: “More muscle produces more heat.”
One pulls the blanket over the sofa, the other takes off his jacket – according to Fraunberger, this is also due to the factors you have on your hands. For example, whether you sleep well, eat enough and exercise enough, this has a huge impact. “From a medical point of view, lowering room temperature would be good for many people,” says internist and sports physician Fraunberger. It can motivate people to exercise more and eat healthier. “You kill two birds with one stone: You are doing something for the climate and for your immune system, because regular exercise strengthens the immune system.”
The optimum outside temperature for the best athletic performance of the body is less than 20 degrees, explains the sports doctor. When the weather is cooler, the blood vessels to the extremities narrow and the body emits less heat. “On the other hand, processes no longer work optimally at temperatures above 30 degrees.”
Lowest power consumption at 26°
Fraunberger and Wavrica believe that the fact that we usually find warmer temperatures more pleasant is primarily a matter of habit. There is almost no heating in Italy, and in England it goes through every rift – every traveler can think of examples. Fraunberger says the single “comfort lane” can be moved up or down at any time. However, if you are accustomed to 25 degrees in the living room, you should not immediately switch to 15 degrees, but gradually regulate the heating by 1 degree.
The German weather service not only predicts the temperature, but also indicates the “perceived temperature”. It is influenced, among other things, by the radiation of the sun, the strength of the wind and the humidity of the air, explains Andreas Mazzarakis of the Center for Research in Medical Meteorology at the Ministry of Social Development: “There are up to 70 factors that influence our thermal perception.” In addition to fatigue and hunger, stress and illness are also a part of it, explains the medical meteorologist.
“26 degrees is the temperature at which people use the least amount of energy,” says the meteorologist. However, DWD also recommends cooler room temperatures – also for climate protection reasons. Matzerakis calculates: “For every degree I lower the room temperature, I save six percent of the energy.” Climate change is causing a problem with homes cooling in the summer, and a looming energy crisis may bring us colder winters at home — “but both are linked.”
With one difference: Unlike heat stress in the summer, it’s easier to do something about freezing in the winter. Sports doctor Fraunberger recommends “walking around the building, then the apartment will seem much warmer.” Internist Favreka advises “putting another layer”. If you want to do something good for your health, you can also do push-ups in front of the TV.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220624-99-781898 / 3