Clothing insulation represents an important parameter strongly dependent on climate/weather variability and directly involved in the assessment of the human energy balance. Few studies tried to explore the influence of climate changes on the optimal clothing insulation for outdoor spaces. For this reason, the aim of this work was to investigate mainly the optimal outdoor minimum clothing insulation value required to reach the thermal neutrality (min_clo) related to climate change on a seasonal basis. Subsequently, we developed an example of operational biometeorological procedure to provide 72-hour forecast maps concerning the min_clo. Hourly meteorological data were provided by three Italian weather stations located in Turin, Rome and Palermo, for the period 1951-1995. Environmental variables and subjective characteristics referred to an average adult young male at rest and at a very high metabolic rate were used as input variables to calculate the min_clo by using a thermal index based on the human energy balance. Trends of min_clo were assessed by a non-parametric statistical method. Results showed a lower magnitude of trends in a subject at a very high metabolic rate than at rest. Turin always showed a decrease of min_clo during the study period and prevalently negative trends were also observed in Palermo. On the other hand, an opposite situation was observed in Rome, especially during the morning in all seasons. The development of a daily operational procedure to forecast customized min_clo could provide useful information for the outdoor clothing fitting that might help to reduce the weather-related human health risk.
- Human energy balance
- Thermal neutrality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation