Concerned parents have oft reminded children to wear hats, citing the old maxim, “You lose most of your heat through your head.”
Turns out, that belief is old hat. According to Dr. Michael Stern, an emergency medicine physician at New York Presbyterian, you lose heat equally through all parts of your body.
Stern elaborates: “The head as a body part represents about 10% of the average adult’s total body surface area, so in reality only 10% of your body’s heat is lost from your head.”
In this episode of Healthbusters, Stern also talks about how it feels like we lose the most heat through our head because the rest of our body, typically, is clothed. Also, your upper body is more sensitive to temperature change, he noted.
“The head and the neck and the upper torso are more sensitive to temperature changes so it feels as if we’re losing more heat but we’re actually not,” Stern said.
So hats off to the hot-headed critics of hat-wearing, you’re not losing the most heat through your head after all.