Cold truth about hats, body heat

  • Article by: MARY LYNN SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 6:58 AM

Remember that adage about losing 70 percent of your body heat through your head? Well, you need to watch prof's video.

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switchitJan. 14, 1310:17 PM

I expected to know something more about anatomy and body tempature as it relates to the advantages of wearing a hat after reading this. What I learned is "how long?", and that question wasn't even answered. So instead of a writer digging in and divulging facts related to this we are simply told to go watch a stick figure video. Lazy.

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billybillyJan. 14, 1310:33 PM

You lose 70% of your heat through your head, because the rest of your body is covered (or at least I hope so). While XC skiing I very rarely wear a hat at all, just small earmuffs.

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cohortJan. 15, 1312:10 AM

The start of the new year is always slow for news.....

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joejoe1Jan. 15, 13 1:31 AM

This prof sounds like a kook -- give me an infrared camera, 2 grad students, a hat, and this guy's university stipend and I will figure out the difference a hat makes quantitatively.

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kamotJan. 15, 13 3:36 AM

Flawed study. When your body is covered with warm clothes you will lose heat through the unexposed areas - the head. We are not naked sticks.

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lien49Jan. 15, 13 6:21 AM

"The head accounts for only about 10 percent of a person's body area, so a person isn't going to lose as much as 70 percent of his or her heat through the head..." That's not the point. While I've never seen a figure as high as 70 percent, the reason there is such a disproportionate loss of body heat through the head is because of the number of blood vessels that are relatively close to the surface as opposed to other areas with a thicker layer of "insulation". As in the extremities, the blood vessels closer to the skin's surface act like a radiator, dissipating heat more easily.

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kwirkyJan. 15, 13 6:41 AM

i had always thought the heat loss was based on inhale and exhale . . . besides, my mom always made things sound worse. Except that one time.

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tcatheartJan. 15, 13 6:45 AM

Whether true or not, this reminds me of another wives tale..."Don't go outside in the winter with wet hair, you'll catch a cold"...Um, actually, colds are cause by viruses, so you might get cold from going outside with wet hair, but you won't catch a cold.

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davehougJan. 15, 13 6:50 AM

The head accounts for only about 10 percent of a person's body area, so a person isn't going to lose as much as 70 percent of his or her heat through the head. - - - Mom wasn't talking about me going out naked, but wearing shoes, pants, coat. Then figure fingers, throat, neck, cheecks, scalp etc.

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bizsmithJan. 15, 13 7:16 AM

I feel warmer when my ears are warm. Psychological warmth counts for a lot with me.

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