3
   

Myth: you lose most heat through your head

 
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 03:08 am
Scientists debunk the myth that you lose most heat through your head

Quote:
When it comes to wrapping up on a cold winter's day, a cosy hat is obligatory. After all, most of our body heat is lost through our heads " or so we are led to believe.

Closer inspection of heat loss in the hatless, however, reveals the claim to be nonsense, say scientists who have dispelled this and five other modern myths.

They traced the origins of the hat-wearing advice back to a US army survival manual from 1970 which strongly recommended covering the head when it is cold, since "40 to 45 percent of body heat" is lost from the head.

Rachel Vreeman and Aaron Carroll, at the centre for health policy at Indiana University in Indianapolis, rubbish the claim in the British Medical Journal this week. If this were true, they say, humans would be just as cold if they went without a hat as if they went without trousers. "Patently, this is just not the case," they write.

The myth is thought to have arisen through a flawed interpretation of a vaguely scientific experiment by the US military in the 1950s. In those studies, volunteers were dressed in Arctic survival suits and exposed to bitterly cold conditions. Because it was the only part of their bodies left uncovered, most of their heat was lost through their heads.

The face, head and chest are more sensitive to changes in temperature than the rest of the body, making it feel as if covering them up does more to prevent heat loss. In fact, covering one part of the body has as much effect as covering any other. If the experiment had been performed with people wearing only swimming trunks, they would have lost no more than 10% of their body heat through their heads, the scientists add.


A couple other folklore items are addressed in the article, it's worth a read.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 10,016 • Replies: 12
No top replies

 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 04:26 am
@Robert Gentel,
If my mother were still alive, I would say to her, "I told you so!" Laughing

I don't know how it is now for the young people, but in my childhood, it was an article of faith that you HAD to wear a hat, (and muffler) during the winter. To not do so was to court bacterial disaster!
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 05:04 am
@Phoenix32890,
Now it is fashion not to wear anything on your head except a baseball cap and that mostly in the summer.
Hats are totally out of fashion,after that for a long time women were wearing a scarf in the winter and now many coats and jackets have a hud against rain, snow and wind.
I freeze in my ears when it is cold and windy. I like to wear something around my head, neck and shoulders when it is really cold outside.
Warm feet, hands, shoulders and head seem to keep me thru winter without a cold.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 06:03 am
@saab,
I wear those "Homeless knit hats" in winter. Its almost a trademark.

I am very sensitive to heat loss through my ears and so I alway have them covered.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 08:42 am
@farmerman,
I'm like you farmerman.

If I don't wear a hat when it's quite cold out, my ears are in a lot of pain.

I have a cloche hat that's roomy enough that my hair doesn't get flattened, and I can turn the brim up or down to regulate my temperature.

It's made of felt and has a leopard skin design and I love it. Sometimes I'll wear it to bed, although I'll take it off in the middle of the night when I'm warmed up.

those scientists can kiss my grits.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 08:52 am
Back in the days of big, round, afro hair styles, a hat was out-of-the-question. You can imagine the brawls my mother and I would have at the very notion of my leaving the house, in Chicago, in January, without a hat. Most of them I won. She said plenty but there was nothing that she could do. It was vanity over sanity.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:03 am
@eoe,
With a 'fro, wouldn't it insulate your head? You know, the air trapped in the bubble of hair? When it's cold my bangs certainly keep my forehead warmer.

Or, you could have made your mother happy by using the hat below...

Designed by Pucci....
Quote:
The classic "Bubble Helmet",was used by the then called stewardesses,to walk from the aircraft to the terminal. Their bouffant hairdo would be safe from the rain and the powerful wind from the jet engine.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_890zk0QKVTc/RoLlXTUVTYI/AAAAAAAAAgU/pfBQN1IGEQU/s400/pucciastronaut.jpg
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:12 am
@chai2,
yesterday afternoon it was MINUS 18 C - windchill about MINUS 30 C .
not only did i wear my fur hat , but i pulled the earflaps down .

perhaps someone ought to tell the people in the arctic that as long as they are warmly dressed there is no need to cover their heads ?
hbg

these people obviously have not been notified of the latest "scientific" findings <GRIN>

http://www.old-picture.com/indians/pictures/Eskimo-Family.jpg

once it has stopped snowing , i'll bundle up clean the snow off the car . we have a carport , so it''s not too bad .
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:15 am
@chai2,
Quote:
those scientists can kiss my grits.



Yeh, they know ****. I wear my homeless hat in the office sometimes and , sometimes I dont shave for a coupla days and look scruffy (I have a small goatee anyway). SO, my entire appearance is less the owner of the company than it is some bum who got in to scope out the trash bins
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 10:25 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote :

Quote:
SO, my entire appearance is less the owner of the company than it is some bum who got in to scope out the trash bins


i wonder if farmerman is hoping for a free cup of coffee and a sandwich ?
haven't shaved for a few days myself - probably tomorrow before going out - don't want to scare the kiddies .
hbg
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 02:43 pm
@hamburger,
hamburger wrote:
perhaps someone ought to tell the people in the arctic that as long as they are warmly dressed there is no need to cover their heads ?


Your head doesn't need to be the way you lose most of your heat for it to make sense to cover it.

For example, you never heard claims that you loose most of your body heat through your butt, but the people in the artic aren't walking around with that out in the open either.

When it's cold enough, it makes sense to cover anything you can.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 04:14 pm
@Robert Gentel,
robert :

when it was mentioned in the news , there certainly was not a long explanation that keeping your WHOLE body warm was the important part .
it was just a blib on the news - the condenssed version was more like "covering your head in the cold not important " - i doubt that everyone caught the full story .
i certainly pulled my fur hat over my head and put my fur boots when i spend an hour outside clearing another 20 cm of snow this afternoon - when it's well below freezing and the wind is howling , no one needs to convince me "to keep your whole body warm " .
"no naked butt was to be seen in the neighbourhood" <GRIN>
hbg
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 04:22 pm
@hamburger,
just an afterthought :
if i would not have put on my furhat , i'm sure i would have survived without frostbite ; but without any footwear i would have had frostbite for sure .
since ou head seldom touches the ground in the winter - i hope so anyway - , we are not as likely to feel the cold hitting our head as we feel it when our feet get cold (and wet) .
that's been my experience .
hbg
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Myth: you lose most heat through your head
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 03/25/2019 at 01:50:50