Friday, 19 December 2008

If you want to get ahead, get a hat!

Recently, scientists have decided to bust some myths. One of them is how much heat is lost through the head. It would seem that many of us having been labouring under the misapprehension that we lose anywhere between 20% and 50% of our body heat through our heads (Guardian article).

This would appear to be total rubbish that has come about from some flawed research done by American scientists in the 1950's. Scientists, eh! Anyway, the upshot is that the amount of heat loss from any exposed skin is about the same no matter where on the body that skin is. The heat loss is proportional to the amount of exposed skin. Pretty logical really. The head accounts for about 10% of our body's surface area, so, in order for it to lose 40% of our heat, the skin on our heads would have to lose 40 % more heat, per square inch, than any other skin on our bodies. Not likely, is it?

The skin on our neck and head is more sensitive to temperature which is why wearing a hat is so cosy on a brisk winter's day. It just feels like it is stopping more heat loss rather than actually doing so.

I find this interesting so will probably look into it in more detail and post something else about it later.

Have fun!


Pablo said...

There goes my hat collection!! Nice one Jon, but they're probably change their minds again in a few years! Now where's me deer stalker?

Jon said...

Well someone is bound to 'prove' it wrong somewhere - you know what scientists are like :)