What to do when your office is too cold (or too hot)

NASA official offers tips on how to regulate your temperature

Many workers struggle with uncomfortable offices that feel too warm or too cool. But there are a few simple solutions to manage your temperature, a NASA official tells the Wall Street Journal's Michael Hsu.

According to Grant Bue, who leads a NASA team that works on managing astronauts' comfort, both astronauts and office workers face similar challenges when trying to stay comfortable. "In an office or the cabin of a spacecraft, you're fixed in place and the metabolic rate is relatively low," Bue says.

Hsu also spoke with Kenneth Diller, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, for more strategies on thermal regulation.

If you're too cold in an office, experts recommend you:

  • Wear a hat, scarf, and/or over-sized headphones: These solutions all involve better preventing "heat loss" from exposed parts of the body.
  • Warm your core—and your feet: Wearing layers and insulated shoes helps retain heat, too.
  • Take a walk: Even a short stroll can boost the metabolic rate and get blood flowing, Bue says.

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Alternately, if you're too hot:

  • Point a fan at your head: This cools the part of your body that is doing the most work to regulate your heat.
  • Cool your hands and your feet: A cold pack that chills your extremities can be an effective way to feel cooler, Diller says (Hsu, Wall Street Journal, 6/19)

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