How Temperature Effects Productivity

As someone whose world revolves around ways to combat heat, my ears perked up when I heard a story on the radio about heat and how temperature affects workers in garment factories in India. Rest assured that all the garments at ThermApparel are sewn right here in Rochester, NY USA. The basis of the story was that large box retailers are encouraging the Indian garment factories they hire to have a more “green” footprint, the factories agreed to start by changing out the lights to LED lighting in 26 of it’s 50 factories.

Then a few researchers heard about the change in lighting and had the insight to realize they now had a test group and a control group. They set about the task of measuring the differences if the factories. No cliffhanger for those sensitive to heat, the differences were DRAMATIC. By the way Southeast Asia (Bangalore its Hot and Humid, like WOW its hot and there’s no a/c)  

Here's the numbers, for every degree above 85ºF production decreased by 3%...wow… workers reported a loss of concentration and in a garment factory that can lead to injuries and death. A 4 degree drop in temperature was achieved by switching to LED lights, the garment factory now uses 1/7th of the electricity and the workers report better concentration and more production goals meet.

So for those of us who were not surprised by this what does it mean? It means we all have heat sensitivity it’s just an issue of what temperature affects us. 85ºF seems to be the “heat stress threshold” for most of us. Our bodies can no longer process the heat fast enough for our core temperature to maintain a stable, safe environment. When we quickly warm up on the inside it makes it very difficult to do anything.

Take a look around your environment. Are you having heat issues and not realizing it? How can you isolate the heat in your house and at work? More a/c may not be the best answer. We would love to hear your heat sensitivity issues and helpful advice and fixes.