Why do we feel cold

Question:

Why don't we feel most comfortable at 37 degrees Celsius?

Answer:

Despite the rainy summer, the occasional hot days of this year clearly showed that most people perceive temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius and high humidity as stressful and uncomfortable. Even the smallest movement becomes strenuous under such conditions, and even doing nothing is sweaty.

At first glance, this does not seem very obvious. After all, the human body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius. Shouldn't we therefore feel “in our element” when the outside temperature is the same as that? One might think that the organism does not have to generate any energy itself in such a heat in order to reach body temperature. The body would be brought to the right temperature from the outside, so to speak. Unfortunately, this calculation does not work out in reality. Because humans always produce heat - completely independent of the outside temperature. It occurs in the continuous functioning of the heart, brain, kidneys and in the metabolism. This amount of heat is more than is needed to maintain body temperature. The rest is released into the environment through the skin. That sounds like wasted, but in this way the body is, so to speak, "on the safe side". This is the only way to guarantee - within certain limits - that enough energy is available to warm the body even in colder weather. As a consequence, people have to give off less heat through the skin when the outside temperature is low and more heat when the outside temperature is higher. Exercise also creates additional heat. On very warm days, the excess heat is dissipated through sweating. Because the evaporation of sweat removes heat energy from the skin; the skin cools down. However, when the air humidity is high, sweat cannot evaporate as well, so this form of heat dissipation is not very effective. For this reason, most people find dry heat, such as that prevails in the southwest of the USA, to be more bearable than humid and humid conditions. Overall, the clothed and resting person feels most comfortable at around 21 degrees.