Exposure to environments outside a comfortable temperature could help tackle major metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, and should be reflected in modern building practices, finds a new study.
This new research reveals how exposure to mildly cold or warm environments, outside the standard comfort zone inside buildings of 21—22 oC, increases metabolism and energy expenditure which may help to tackle obesity.
For those with type 2 diabetes, exposure to mild coldness influences glucose metabolism and after 10 days of intermittent cold, patients had increased insulin sensitivity by more than 40%.
These results for diabetes treatment are comparable with the best pharmaceutical solutions available.
As a result of the positive benefits, the authors advocate that living conditions in modern buildings, such as homes and offices, should be dynamic and incorporate drifting temperatures in order to support healthy human environments.
Such measures should go hand in hand with the classical lifestyle factors such diet and physical exercise.
The lead author commented, “It has previously been assumed that stable fixed indoor temperatures would satisfy comfort and health in most people.”
“However, this research indicates that mild cold and variable temperatures may have a positive effect on our health and at the same time are acceptable or even may create pleasure.”
“The health benefits from a short exposure to a more varied temperature range will redefine our expectations on thermal comfort. In turn, this will change our practices for heating and cooling our buildings.”
News source: Taylor & Francis. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is for illustrative purposes only.