Girl on gray couch sitting at home experiencing impact of hot summer temperatures, fanning

Why Do We Feel Hot at 96.8°F When Our Body is 96.8°F?

As the summer heat intensifies, the scorching temperatures become the center of our attention. Interestingly, the temperature we’re trying to escape from matches what our bodies need to function. But how does that add up?

Unraveling the Fahrenheit Mystery

As the relentless summer sun continues its reign, many are baffled. Why do we feel so overwhelmingly hot at an ambient temperature of 96.8°F when that’s roughly the same as our body’s internal temperature? Shouldn’t we be in harmony with our surroundings at this point? “We ought to feel comfortable, in sync with the environment,” some may ponder. However, the scientific explanation offers more layers than meets the eye.

Our Cells Know the Answer

Álvaro Fernández, a knowledgeable pharmacist and renowned TikToker, often sheds light on such daily curiosities. In one of his enlightening videos, he explores the rationale behind this temperature puzzle. The answer, he suggests, resides in our cells. Fernández elaborates,

“To perform their duties, cells generate an excess amount of heat that we must dispel, and this happens primarily through our skin.”

In essence, he’s referring to the phenomenon of sweating.

Naturally, when temperatures range between 59°F and 86°F, our body can efficiently dissipate this surplus heat. But beyond this spectrum, it starts seeking external aid, causing us to perspire more profusely. “Evaporating sweat aids in removing that extra heat. Hence, the warmer the surroundings, the more we tend to sweat,” Fernández observes. Moreover, humidity significantly influences this process. A higher humidity level decelerates the rate of sweat evaporation, making it accumulate on our skin and intensifying the sensation of heat.

In conclusion, even if our body’s internal temperature gravitates around 96.8°F, it doesn’t automatically mean we’d be comfortable in an external environment with similar readings. Given our body’s continuous efforts to stabilize its temperature, it’s hardly surprising we find ourselves longing for the refreshing embrace of winter.