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science Question! Answered

While day dreaming in history class, A question popped into my mind; If our body temperature is 98 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) why are we uncomfortable in hot weather?


Our bodies generate heat during metabolic processes... This means that we regulate our temperature to 37C by sweating to cool down or using vasoconstriction and hairs going up etc. the reason our bodies regulate to that temperature is because that's the temperature that our bodies reactions work best at - enzymes are catalysts for our bodies chemical reactions, they're sensitive to temperature, a bit either way and they're much less effective. Too hot and they get denatured, stop working permanently.

What ambient temperature is just right for each person is variable. The reason we feel uncomfortable in hot/cold conditions would be feedback, telling us to move or get warm/cool. It's the same idea as burning your hand, if the thing is painfully hot you let go of it.

Oh and the reason we shiver is connected to us making heat, your body shivers to make your muscles work and make heat. After a run you can be too warm, even on a nippy day I can wear a T-shirt and jeans on my bike and ride fast all the way to somewhere, then be warm afterwards or break a sweat.

Your muscles don't burn with the heat they produce though... That's lactic acid buildup. Guitar hero or similar games provide a good way to show it, play something really fast until your arms feel like seizing, they'll be warmer than the rest of your arm, not massively but it's noticeable.

Nope - AA in science despite not handing in much coursework...

I think I must have done a 9V, or maybe a lantern battery, in science ;->

its ok, i only joke. BB myself, and i didn't try one bit for that..

It was an easy enough subject, I never bothered much with it.

I know people that did and they over did it severely, over analysed everything and often ended up not answering the question that was asked.

. I'm not sure how it figures into the equation (if at all), but skin temperature is closer to 90oF.


9 years ago

BTW, as an approximation, the average human being apparently dissipates about the same amount of power as a 100W light bulb...

Yup, and with the right power leads, you can run a worldwide computer simulation with them :-)

We are only so because we don't run around nekkid.

Your body tries to regulate and keep a constant internal temperature at 98.6 degrees F but you have to take into account heat is trapped in your body by skin, body fat, body mass and liquids. You get rid of excess heat buildup from normal activity by breathing out hot air and perspiring if needed. While some people are more sensitive, if the weather or environment is warmer, you have more trouble getting rid of that excess heat at warmer temperatures trying to cool down than when it is cold outside.

The preceding should not be construed as a medical opinion, if you want real medical advice, see a real doctor.

"The preceding should not be construed as a medical opinion, if you want real medical advice, see a real doctor" pfft! real doctors are for those with money! but seriously, thanks for the explanation!