Good Question: If The Body Is 98.6%, Why Is Heat So Uncomfortable?

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tonight on Good Question, KAKEland viewer Scott wants to know if the normal temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees, why does 100 degrees outside feel so hot. It seems like that ought to be comfortable for us.

Good question.

As we continue to bake in the summer head, as we typically do during a Kansas summer, some ponder the question, if our bodies run at 98.6, why is 98.6 outside so uncomfortable?

Our bodies are like heat machines. They need to disperse some of that 98.6 to operate efficiently. When it’s cool, say room temperature, the heat in our body can flow, or disperse, with ease, and therefore we are comfortable/

However, when the outside temp reaches 98.6 or anywhere near it, our bodies have a more difficult time, dispersing heat. Add humidity, and sweat vaporization, making us feel even worse.

Bottom line, when it’s 98.6 outside, be aware that your body is not going to like it. So take the steps necessary to help it stay cool. Drink lots of water, wear loose-fitting clothing, or just stay inside.

If you have a good question, send it to me at or find me on Twitter at I’ll answer your good question every Thursday on KAKE News at 10.

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