Maintenance of constant body temperature equilibrium over a wide variety of activities and environmental conditions constitutes one of the most important problems in the physiology of life. Normal temperature is maintained through a balance between heat production by metabolism and heat loss to the surroundings. The mechanism of metabolism and its control is well understood by the physiologist.
There are four factors in the atmospheric environment which affect heat loss from the body and, therefore, this equilibrium. They are (1) the temperature of the air, (2) its moisture content, (3) air movement and (4) radiation transfer between the body and surrounding surfaces. Generally speaking, these four factors are given in the order of their importance, and it is natural that what is known as the temperature of the air, better expressed as the dry bulb temperature, was the first of these values to be given consideration by the physiologists in
FERDERBER MB, HOUGHTEN FC. EFFECTIVE TEMPERATURE SCALE: A MEASURE OF HUMAN COMFORT IN ENVIRONMENTAL TEMPERATURE. JAMA. 1941;116(6):474–477. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820060022005
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