The settings for office temperatures don’t account for metabolic differences between men and women, according to a study.
The research found that the metabolic rate of young women doing light office work is significantly lower than the standards set in the 1960s which are based on a 70kg, 40-year-old man.
The scientists say the metabolic standards should be replaced with updated values to avoid wasteful heating and cooling.
Energy consumption of residential buildings and offices adds up to about 30% of total carbon dioxide emissions.
Further benefits may be gained by accounting for the effects of age, sex, body size and activity level.
The Dutch research, by Boris Kingma and Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Centre, is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
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