Influence of body mass index and frequency of physical activities on human thermal comfort: statistical analysis of field study data with office occupants in Florianópolis, SC

<p></p><p>Abstract The aim of this study was to verify the influence of body mass index (BMI) and frequency of physical activities on the thermal sensation, preference, comfort and acceptability of people working in offices with hybrid ventilation or operating with a central air-conditioning system in Florianópolis/SC. The results of 85 field studies (environmental measurements and application of questionnaires) were analysed in three buildings. Data were organised according to each mode of operation and subdivided into two subgroups, BMI and frequency of physical activity, and then submitted to statistical analysis with thermal comfort variables. A tendency of decreasing clothing insulation as BMI increased was observed. Thermal sensation, preference and comfort showed a significant relationship with the two modes of operation, when considering BMI values. Overall, individuals with higher BMIs feel warmer, tended to prefer cooler environments and feel more thermally comfortable than users with lower BMI values. Results related to the frequency of physical activities were not conclusive.</p><p></p>