Do You Lose Body Faster Through Your Head?

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images.jpeg   Has anyone ever told you to put a hat on because it's cold out?  I used to live in New York City.  Every time I look at pictures of myself from the winter time, when I was younger, I always saw I was wearing a cute little hat.  People think most of your body heat escapes through your head.  This is a myth.  
   The myth seemed to have began in the army around the 1960s.  The U.S. army did some research to test the loss of body heat in intensely cold atmospheres.  The results showed 40 to 45 percent of body heat was from unprotected heads.  The problem with this experiment was, the people used for the experiment were wearing body suits made for the cold, but they were not covering their heads.  This isn't surprising that they lost a lot of heat through their heads.  There was a quote in an article from The Guardian saying, "If as much as 45 percent of body heat were lost through your head, going out without a hat would feel like going out without trousers." 
   The truth is, the amount of heat released from your body depends on the atmosphere you're in and it's surface area.  A greater exposure of skin can lead to higher loss of body heat.  If you are wearing insulated clothing in cold weather, most likely, the part of your body with the least insulation will be where you lose the most body heat.  In reality, we lose no more than ten percent of heat through our heads.
   The body reacts to the weather in two ways: The first is by compressing the blood vessels in our arms and legs.  This decreases blood flow.  This protects our brain and other important parts of our body.  This does not, however, protect our fingers and toes which can lead to frostbite.  You may also not know that when we're shivering, our bodies are creating heat.  
   The face, head and chest are the most sensitive body parts due to temperature than the rest of the body.  This is what deceives us and makes us think we're warmer when we wear a scarf or hat.  The truth is, covering up one part of the body, is just as effective as covering up others.  If the experiment of the soldiers in the army was done with them wearing swim suits instead of their body suits, they would have only lost about ten percent of body heat through their head.  
   I would advise everybody, especially with a cold winter coming ahead, try to cover all parts of your body in the cold.  Keep every part of your body possible, insulated.  Wear your jackets, wear your scarves, wear your hats and your boots and gloves.  This will cover all of the parts of the body that are most prone to getting cold such as your face, head, chest, fingers and toes.  I always feel parts of my body feel equally cold when they are not protected from the low temperatures well enough. Do you ever feel that by not wearing a hat your head feels colder than your fingers if you were to not wear gloves? 

1 Comment

This is a really interesting topic to discuss because I had always believed that one loses most of their body heat through the head. But like it said, 40-45% of body heat does seem like a very large amount to lose through your head. In terms of the body parts that are the most sensititve to the cold, I would have thought that the hands and feet would be the most sensitive. I thought this simply because those are the extremities that are furthest away from the center of the body. It's interesting that the head and chest are the most sensitive, especially because the head is covered by so much hair for most people.

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