Temperature Matters


Courtesy of the Australian Institute of Business

The temperature of where we work or study is an important factor that can either help or hurt our performance.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

As the year progresses, the weather is starting to become colder and colder. This means waking up to freezing mornings and cloudy skies. While many of us wish that we could stay at home and curl up in a blanket all day, we must go to school or another outside activity. Being cold causes our bodies to be less productive which ultimately leads to poorer performance in school, work, or wherever else you may go.

Why do we feel so lazy when it’s cold? It’s not just the clouds and fog that put us in a lethargic mood. According to a Cornell University study, colder temperatures cause our bodies to use more energy to stay warm than to concentrate. When someone’s work or school environment is colder, they tend to make more mistakes and get distracted more easily than someone in a warmer environment. They may be more focused on how cold they feel instead of the work they are trying to get done. 

This also causes people to feel wearier on colder days since not much of their energy is being used to keep themselves awake. Juliana Neemeh (10) agrees and says “on colder days I am just overall more tired and lazy.”

As you might expect, warmer temperatures help improve performance. While one may think warmth causes us to be sleepier, our brains perceive this warmth as psychological warmth which makes us happier. Elite Daily states that being in a better mood leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency. Positive emotions also spark creativity which helps us come up with better ideas.

However, being too hot can be just as bad as being too cold. The cold causes our bodies to feel exhausted and sluggish, and our bodies react to the heat in a similar way. According to the New Jersey Herald, our brains will constantly remind us that we are hot, which causes us to switch our focus from what we are doing to how we feel. This causes poorer performance and increases the difficulty of processing information.

By using this information, we can create the best environment that will allow us to be the most productive and concentrated we can be. We can turn on heaters or use blankets to keep ourselves warm on colder days. Everyone experiences temperature in a different way, so it is important to find your own method of keeping your body at a temperature that will not distract you and will allow you to perform your best.