Why do we feel hot at 37°C?

Why is it that when the room temperature is 37°C we feel hot instead of feeling neither hot nor cold, since it is also our body temperature?

The answer, in fact, lies in the way our body functions. The human body is pretty complex. When we are cold our body starts producing heat itself, the same way it produces energy: burning glucose. When we are hot, the body starts sweating. The sweat then evaporates, cooling the surface, i.e. skin.

But when we are neither cold nor hot, the body’s metabolism keeps functioning. It keeps burning glucose to form energy, and heat is released. For this heat to spread out to the environment, the temperature outside the body or the room temperature must be less than the body temperature itself.

That is why scientists conclude that the optimum room temperature for the human body is between 21 – 27°C. This is, by the by, the temperature range we set our air conditioners at. Now you know why we do so, it is because the body is perfectly comfortable at these temperatures.

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